via The Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON—Growth in national health spending, which had dropped to historic lows in recent years, has snapped back and is set to continue at a faster pace over the next decade, federal actuaries said Tuesday.
The return to bigger growth is a result of expanded insurance coverage under the 2010 health law, a revived economy and crunch time as Medicare’s baby-boom beneficiaries enter their 70’s.
American spending on all health care grew 5.5% in 2014 from the previous year and will grow 5.3% this year, according to a report from actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published in the journal Health Affairs. In the years through 2024, spending growth is expected to average 5.8%, peaking at 6.3% in 2020.
The jump comes after five consecutive years of average spending growth of less than 4% annually—a rate touted by the Obama administration as the lowest since the government began tracking health spending in the 1960s and a sign that the health law’s Medicare provisions were helping rein in health costs.