Private health spending growth is projected to hit a 15-year low as the economic downturn will reduce the amount of private health insurance coverage, according to HealthDay News and experts at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Baltimore.

Spending on Medicaid is estimated to have increased by 8.1 percent in 2008 versus 2007 to $466 billion, and future Medicare spending will accelerate as the boomer generation becomes eligible, according to experts.

In his speech to Congress last night, President Obama made it clear health care reform is a top-of-mind issue that he wants to tackle in his budget. “So let there be no doubt: health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year,” he said.

The promise perks interest to boomers, the majority of whom named facilitating access to health care coverage as one of their top expectations of government throughout the crisis, according to an AARP survey.

More than half of boomer respondents to the survey say they are concerned they will not be able to afford health care this year. Almost 30 percent of respondents think that it is likely that their health insurance coverage will be reduced or eliminated in the next 12 months.