Health Care Industry Spending At A Low

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It’s not surprising that what some call “The Great Recession” would have an impact on health care spending as a whole. Of course structural changes due to the Affordable Care Act, instated in 2010, have played a role as well. So it is hard to clearly define which has been the cause of the industry slowdown. According to federal data, “the annual growth rate for spending averaged 6.6 percent between 2000 and 2007, then shrank to just 3.3 percent each year between 2008 and 2011.” Problems with the economy have done their part in creating these major changes.

Jason Millman of the Washington Post states “During those three years, the slumping economy accounted for 70 percent of the spending slowdown, according to a new peer-reviewed study from Northwestern University economists.”

This study does not explain, however, why these numbers have dropped more in the past few years, coincidentally during the first years of the ACA. Additionally, the data from the study does not show the expected increase from the past two quarters, as Americans have gained insurance under the new law – a detail that should not be overlooked as the industry itself accounts for nearly 17% of the country’s spending.

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