Medical spending up 10% as the result of ObamaCare. And it’s just getting going.
Spending on health care grew an astounding 9.9% in the Bureau of Economic Analysts’ advance estimate of first-quarter GDP. It’s the biggest percent change in health-care spending since 1980, when health-care spending jumped 10% in the third quarter. Analysts said it’s primarily due to a consumption boost from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Adjusted for inflation, America is spending more on health care than ever.
Personal consumption grew by 3.0% — about half of which was due to the growth in health-care spending, said Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. “If health care spending had been unchanged, the headline GDP growth number would have been -1.0%,” Shepherdson said.
A BEA spokesperson said the uptick “reflects additional spending associated with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.”
The White House, of course, promised otherwise:
Bending the growth curve of health care spending: In keeping with President Obama’s pledge that reform must fix our health care system without adding to the deficit, the Affordable Care Act reduces the deficit, saving more than $200 billion over 10 years and more than $1 trillion in the second decade. The law reduces health care costs by rewarding doctors, hospitals and other providers that deliver high quality care, making investments to fund research into what works, and cracking down on waste, fraud, and abuse.
And here’s a Harvard economics professor chiming in T
The anger over the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act’s federal health insurance exchange — and over the conflicting explanations about whether people can keep their coverage — has been bipartisan and well-deserved. The administration needs to make personnel and management changes to get enrollment back on track. But the focus on insurance coverage obscures other parts of the ACA that are working well, even better than expected.
It is increasingly clear that the cost curve is bending, and the ACA is a significant part of the reason. Since 2010, the average rate of health-care cost increases has been less than half the average in the prior 40 years. The first wave of the cost slowdown emerged just after the recession and was attributed to the economic hangover. Three years later, the economy is growing, and costs show no sign of rising. Something deeper is at work. The Affordable Care Act is a key to the underlying change.
And Paul Krugman
So, how’s it going? The health exchanges are off to a famously rocky start, but many, though by no means all, of the cost-control measures have already kicked in. Has the curve been bent?
The answer, amazingly, is yes. In fact, the slowdown in health costs has been dramatic.
And on and on and on. The only curve being bent here is the taxpayer’s spine, as he’s forced over and given it good and hard.