Health care costs may eat up 18.7% of U.S. gross domestic product in 2014.[@@]
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services included that forecast today in a report on national health care spending.
The spending growth rate actually fell to 7.5% in 2004, from 7.7% in 2003, CMS officials estimate.
But the $1.8 trillion total amounted to 15.4% of GDP in 2004, up from 15.3% of GDP in 2003, according to CMS officials.
Total national health care spending may increase only about 7.1% per year over the next decade, but the new Medicare prescription drug program could force the government to pick up a much bigger portion of the tab, the officials predict.