NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

FUTURE SHOCK: $4,000,000,000,000 IN HEALTH COSTS IN 2015

March 8, 2006

The federal government projects overall health care spending in the United States to double over the next 10 years to more than four trillion dollars, or one in five dollars of gross domestic product, in 2015. That's untenable, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Projections of several studies show:

  • Per person spending on health care will rise to $12,300 by 2015, whereas our national health care bill for 2005 accounted for only $6,700 for every man, woman and child -- including the 45 million uninsured.
  • American health care spending only recently reached one trillion dollars in 1996, but will quadruple over the course of 20 years, with aging boomers needing more and more health care.
  • By 2013, America's uninsured will reach one in four, largely because of growth in health insurance costs.

For at least two decades, people believed the magic of the markets would tame the shocking increases in healthcare costs. However, this has not happened, despite managed care and a 70 percent increase since 1993 in the amount consumers paid out-of-pocket for their care, says the Post-Dispatch.

Kicking people off Medicaid or cutting Medicare is not reform. It merely shifts the burden, and does not address pricing, bureaucracy or the fact that a growing number of Americans are uninsured or have no health care, says the Post-Dispatch.

Source: Editorial, "Future Shock: $4,000,000,000,000 in Health Costs in 2015," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 27, 2006.


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