Health care spending continues to slow

Posted in the Minneapolis Forum

1776 Defucker

San Jose, CA

#1 Jun 20, 2013
Health care spending is continuing to slow, despite the improving economy. That's according to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP released Tuesday. They attribute the continued slow rate of increase to Obamacare.
The report cited the positive effect of provisions in the health-care law that reduced hospital readmissions by 70,000 in 2012 and lowered premiums for people in employer-sponsored smoking cessation or chronic-disease management programs. The report supports PresidentBarack Obamas contentions that the 2010 law has contributed to historically slow cost growth.
Its picking up speed and force, said Ceci Connolly, managing director of PwCs Health Research Institute in Washington. Provisions such as the readmission penalties will be having a measurable impact across the health system.[...]

PwCs findings track with studies by the government and others that show continued slow growth in medical costs even with the economy four years into an upswing since the 2007-2009 recession. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said in January that U.S. health spending, including from government programs, rose 3.9 percent in 2011, matching the slowest growth in 52 years of record keeping.

Analysts have considered the recession as a major contributor to the slowdown in costs, but that the trend is continuing suggests Obamacare as a possibly more permanent cause. Why is figuring this out so important? Because Medicare.

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