With full implementation of the Affordable Care Act slated to go into effect by 2014 — assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t find parts of it unconstitutional — critics of the health reform law have argued that it will lead to an increase in health care spending. And a report out this week from CMS seems to gives credence to this argument.
The annual National Health Expenditures Report found that from 2011 to 2013, U.S. health care spending is expected to grow at 4%, a figure slightly above 2009’s historically low growth rate of 3.8%. That’s the good news.
But the report, which was published in the July 2012 issue of Health Affairs, also projected that by 2021, federal, state and local government health care spending will be nearly 50% of national health expenditures — it was 46% last year — with federal spending accounting for about two-thirds of the total government share. The reasons? Growth in Medicare enrollment, expanding eligibility for Medicaid and cost-sharing subsidies for plans sold via health exchanges.
So, do you think that the report’s projections and conclusions are accurate?