Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Federal Government’s Health Care Spending Continues Rapid Increase, Shifting Costs to Taxpayers

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services today released an annual report on national health expenditures that revealed health care spending increased by 3.9 percent in 2010, continuing the upward trend in health care costs. But the news that shouldn’t be overlooked in the report is the federal government’s share of total national health expenditures.

In 2010, the federal government’s share increased to 29 percent. This means the American taxpayer will bear the brunt of this rapidly rising health care spending. And there's no relief in sight. In fact, in 2014 as the health care law’s Medicaid expansion and cost sharing subsidies take effect, taxpayer funding of health care is expected to rise even further.

Proponents of the health care law promised the reforms would decrease costs, but the law fails to actually address the rising cost of health care.  The law ignores the problem, and instead places additional expensive mandates on states, individuals, and businesses. Health care costs are going nowhere but up, and it's taxpayers who are footing more and more of the bill. 

The National Health Expenditure Accounts (NHEA) are the official estimates of total health care spending in the United States. Dating back to 1960, the NHEA measures annual U.S. expenditures for health care goods and services, public health activities, government administration, the net cost of health insurance, and investment related to health care. The data are presented by type of service, sources of funding, and by type of sponsor.

U.S. health care spending accelerated slightly in 2010, increasing 3.9 percent compared to growth of 3.8 percent in 2009. Total health expenditures reached $2.6 trillion, which translates to $8,402 per person or 17.9 percent of the nation's Gross Domestic Product, the same share as in 2009.


Highlights [PDF, 50 KB] 

NHE Web tables [PDF, 566 KB] 

National Health Expenditures by type of service and source of funds, CY 1960-2010 [ZIP, 43 KB] 

NHE summary including share of GDP, CY 1960-2010 [ZIP, 3 KB] 

Sponsor Highlights [PDF, 376 KB] 

Definitions, Sources, Methods [PDF, 420 KB] 

Summary of benchmark changes (2009) [PDF, 167 KB]) 

Summary of benchmark changes (2004) [PDF, 35 KB] 

Quick Reference: National Health Expenditure category definitions [PDF, 94 KB] 

Nation's health dollar - where it came from, where it went [PDF, 352 KB] 


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