Health care spending in the United States experienced
historically low rates of growth in 2009 and 2010, according to the annual
report of national health expenditures published in Health Affairs.
Analysts at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
reported that the increase in spending for 2009 represents the lowest rate of
increase in the 51-year history of the national health expenditures (NHE)
report. The low rate of growth, according to a CMS news release, reflects lower
utilization in health care than in previous year. The report noted that US
health care spending increased 3.9% in 2010 — 0.1% faster than in 2009.
The report noted that growth in the US economy as reflected in gross domestic
product (GDP) rebounded while the health spending share of the overall economy
was unchanged at 17.9%.
“We have worked hard since the passage of the Affordable Care Act
in 2010 to lower health care cost growth,” Marilyn Tavenner, acting CMS
administrator, stated in the release. “We believe that the tools in health
reform will help keep health care cost growth low while improving the value of
care for consumers.”
Key findings from the report include:
- Household health care spending equaled $725.5 billion in 2010,
representing 28% of total health spending, slightly less than its 29% share in
2007. Growth in total private health insurance premiums slowed in 2010 to 2.4%
from 2.6% in 2009, continuing a slowdown that began in 2003. For the first time
in 7 years the growth in premiums exceeded the growth in insurer spending on
health care benefits — with the net cost of insurance increasing by 8.4%
% growth in 2009.
For more information:
Martin AB. Growth in US health spending remained slow in 2010:
health share of gross domestic product was unchanged from 2009. Health
Aff. 2012. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2011.1135.