Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Health Care Cost Rising At Slowest Rate Since 1961

The revised third quarter economic data contained some good news for President Obama and the Democrats. Thanks to Obamacare healthcare costs have risen at their slowest rate since 1961.

From The White House:

Prices of health care services have risen just 0.7 percent over the past four quarters, extending the recent period of exceptionally slow health care price inflation, while expanding coverage has driven faster growth in aggregate utilization of health care services. Prior to 2015, an increase in health care services prices as low as the 0.7 percent increase over the most recent four quarters had not been seen since 1961.



 Continuing an unusual pattern in recent years, the increase in the prices of health care services over the last year was only slightly above the overall increase in consumer prices. From 1960:Q1 through 2010:Q1, the inflation rate for health care services exceeded the inflation rate for all consumer goods and services by an average of 2.1 percentage points.

The continued slow increase in health care prices is a major reason that overall per-enrollee health care spending—the metric of health costs most relevant to individuals and families—continues to grow exceptionally slowly in both the public and private sectors. However, aggregate health care spending—reflecting aggregate utilization of health care services—has grown at an elevated rate in recent quarters. The 4.6 percent increase over the most recent four quarters remains well above the 1.9 percent average rate from 2010 to 2013. This recent acceleration appears to largely reflect increased access to care by the millions of people who have gained health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act since the end of 2013. Upward pressure on aggregate utilization growth from expanding coverage is neither a surprise nor a cause for concern and will be temporary, lasting only until coverage stabilizes at its new, higher level in the coming years.

Here is the decrease on a graph:




Republicans keep trying to sell the American people on the false notion that Obamacare is failing, but the numbers tell a different story. A failed healthcare policy can be seen on the graph during the Bush years.

The health and welfare of the hundreds of millions of Americans are on the line in 2016. Democrats are not only fighting for the tens of millions of Americans who have gained coverage. They are also fighting for the Americans who have benefitted from lower costs, better coverage, and a system that is focused on serving the consumer instead of cutting corners for the insurance companies. 

This is a big win for President` Obama and the Democrats, but the success of the ACA is an even bigger win for the American people.

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