The federal government may be stalled on health care reform legislation, but the executive branch has been expanding its stake in paying for care.
Yesterday, QD reported that federal and state governments will pay for more than half of the health care purchased in the U.S. by 2012, and likely even sooner. Today, Medicare’s actuaries announced that growth in national health expenditures (NHE) outpaced growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) last year. The recession, H1N1 programs and federal subsidies for COBRA benefits all contributed to the largest one-year increase in history, from 16.2% of GDP in 2008 to 17.3% of GDP last year.
In 2010, NHE growth will decelerate to 3.9% while GDP is anticipated to rebound to 4% growth. But, and this is a big caveat, much of the projected slowdown in NHE growth is attributed to the 21.3% slashing of Medicare physician payment rates called for under current law’s Sustainable Growth Rate provisions.
We here at QD love a good chart to explain all this, and there’s plenty to peruse.
Also released today is a report that, one year after expanding Children’s Health Insurance Programs, 2.6 million more children gained Medicaid or CHIP coverage. As a result of the extra federal spending, all but two states cover children in families earning at least 200% of the federal poverty level, ($48,100 for a family of four in 2009.)
Health care reform
Speaking to a friendly audience, President Barack Obama broadly outlined his goals for moving forward on health care reform. He called for a “methodical, open process” and a public airing of ideas from partisan legislators and non-partisan experts. Vice President Joe Biden backed up those statements, but U.S. House leaders dodged the topic following a meeting with the President. (New York Times, The Hill, Politico)
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*