TEXT OF STORY
JEREMY HOBSON: As the new Congress gets to work in Washington, here’s something both sides can agree on: it would be nice to reduce health care spending. But perhaps not this way. The journal “Health Affairs” is reporting today that the recession had a major impact on health care spending because of lost insurance and missed care.
Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer has the details.
Nancy Marshall Genzer: Health care spending still rose in 2009, but at the lowest rate in five decades.
Anne Martin: The recession had a profound impact.
Anne Martin is an economist with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the report’s lead author. She says, remember what was happening in 2009: people were losing their jobs, and health insurance.
Martin: People stopped going to the doctors and delayed their medical care.
A big reason spending rose at all? The government paid for more care. Medicaid spending almost doubled. Austin Frakt is a health economist at Boston University. He says private sector health care spending will rebound in the next few years, as people find new jobs with health insurance.
Austin Frakt: People want to buy health services. If they’re covered for it, they’re going to use more.
Frakt says there’s a lot of pent-up demand for things like knee surgery. Care people put off until their financial health improved.
In Washington, I’m Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.
You make our
Support nonprofit news you love with a gift today.