NU Online News Service, March 13, 12:15 p.m. — Washington
Increases in U.S. health care spending could soon lead to dramatic changes in the private health insurance market, according to government forecasters.
Even if the country’s health care costs go up an average of just 7.3% per year, total annual health care spending is likely to reach $2.8 trillion, or 17% of gross domestic product, in 2011, up from $1.3 trillion, or 13% of GDP, in 2000, officials say.
A team led by Stephen Heffler, deputy director of the National Health Statistics Group at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, has published an article discussing the statistics in the journal Health Affairs.
The article is based on the government’s National Health Expenditures Projections, which are summarized on the Web at http://www.hcfa.gov/stats/NHE-Proj/proj2001/default.htm
Private and government health care spending have been increasing rapidly in recent years because of the aging of the U.S. population, increases in household income, a shift to less restrictive forms of managed care, and rising price inflation, the authors of the Health Affairs article write.