The US government actuaries on Wednesday predicted a significant surge in the country’s healthcare spending, saying it is poised to grow ever faster in the coming years and grab a major share of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) along with stretching upon the government budgets.
The financial experts at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Wednesday said that the spending on healthcare facilities should increase an average of 5.7 percent per year between 2013 and 2023. The figures are expected to outpace growth in the GDP by slight more than 1 percentage point.
It is estimated that the expenses on healthcare in the US will account for nearly a fifth of annual GDP by 2023, at 19.3 percent, a slight increase from 17.2 percent in 2012.
Lead study author Andrea Sisko said, “Analysis of historical trends tells us that the spending on healthcare tracks with economic growth, so as the economy is anticipated to improve over the next decade, health spending growth is projected to grow faster.”
According to Sisko, the increased insurance coverage, especially after the advent of the Affordable Care Act, is expected to result in the surge of the share of healthcare in GDP to nearly one-fifth of the US economy by 2023.
The study indicates that the dramatic slowdown in health care spending over the past five years is approaching final end. The researchers say even if the recent dramatic drop in costs are in the conclusion process, it won’t repeat the historic charisma of the period between 1990 and 2008 that witnessed growth in healthcare costs at an annual rate of 7.2 percent a year.
Meanwhile, the economists also entered into long debate on finding the possible reason that triggered the recent slowdown taking three factors into consideration- the US economy, Obamacare reforms or both.
According to the study authors, the effects of Obamacare could not be parsed out as it is difficult to find out what would have happened in its absence.
Researchers say the US President’s healthcare law will bring the number of uninsured from 45 million in 2012 to 23 million in 2023.
Notably, 27 states and the District have decided to expand their healthcare programs, while several others are currently debating over it.
The projections by the economists were based on the current policy changes and law to date.
The study was published in Health Affairs.
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