Healthcare costs to jump faster than GDP

July 28, 2011 at 4:14 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 28 (UPI) -- Total U.S. spending for healthcare is expected to grow 5.8 percent per year for the decade ending in 2020, Health Affairs, a trade journal, said Thursday.

The contribution to the nation's healthcare bill paid by the federal government is expected to grow from 27 percent in 2010 to 31 percent in 2020. Similarly, the contribution from municipal, state and federal governments is also expected to grow by four percentage points, climbing from 45 percent to 49 percent of the total bill.

With total spending growing faster than forecasts for economic growth, healthcare is expected to increase from 17.6 percent to 19.8 percent of the country's gross domestic product by 2020.

The major shift in financing for healthcare is being prompted by the Affordable Care Act of 2010, which is expected to insure an additional 30 million people, who will increase demand for physician services and for pharmaceutical products.

Healthcare spending is estimated to hit $2.5 trillion in 2010, the journal said.

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