Health care spending could double

Marketplace Staff Feb 24, 2009
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Health care spending could double

Marketplace Staff Feb 24, 2009
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Renita Jablonski: National health care spending is expected to jump this year at its fastest rate ever. An annual federal report out today finds health coverage could nearly double within the next decade. From Washington, Ronni Radbill reports.


Ronni Radbill: As the economy worsens and boomers retire, states and the federal government face swelling health care costs. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services find public health care costs will balloon to $4.4 trillion by 2018.

Economist Andrea Sisko helped author the report. She says health spending’s share of GDP jumped a full percentage point in the last year. It might not sound like much, but:

Andrea Sisko: That’s the largest recorded since we’ve been tracking health spending, and that goes back to 1960.

Meanwhile, private health spending is expected to shrink this year to its lowest level in 15 years.

Chris Trufer, another co-author, says by 2016, public payers are expected to dole out more than half of all health care funding.

Chris Trufer: I think it underscores the role that the public programs, specifically Medicare and Medicaid, play in the United States health care system.

That’s a challenge for the Obama administration as it works on slashing the federal deficit in half.

In Washington, I’m Ronni Radbill for Marketplace.

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