Health Care Spending

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Health Care Spending Paper

Health Care Spending
Health care spending in America is at an all-time high. The baby boomer generation is reaching retirement age and its dependence on health care is greater than ever before. This burgeoning demand for health care services has put a huge strain on the infrastructure of the health care system that was originally designed to accommodate far less Americans than it currently supports. Many financial experts predict a drastic increase in health care spending in the years ahead. According to Wayne (2012), "Federal, state and local governments are projected to spend $2.4 trillion on health care in 2021, half of all U.S. medical expenditures, according to the analysis in Health Affairs by actuaries and economists from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Government accounted for about 46 percent of health spending through 2013” (Glide Path). This particular article shows monumental increase predicted for government funded health care in the near future. Speculation regarding the impact of the Affordable Health Care Act on future spending has been mixed. Some analysts say that spending will level-off; while others state that the reform will increase spending. According to Walker (2012), "National healthcare spending grew very little in 2011 -- just 3.9%, which was the same rate seen in 2010 -- to reach $2.7 trillion. The slow growth was mostly because of the lingering effects of the recession, the study authors said. During the recession, fewer people used medical services, such as doctors' visits, and more people lost their jobs, and along with them, their health insurance. Some of the numbers expected in 2014 when an estimated 22 million people join the ranks of the insured: An 18% increase in Medicaid spending and a 7.9% increase in private health insurance Overall growth in health spending, 7.4%

8.8% growth in prescription drug spending, in part from narrowing the Medicare Part D "doughnut...
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