BUDGET/HEALTHCARE/OBAMACARE(ACA): “The pace of U.S. health-care spending grew in 2016 at a slower tempo than in previous years, decelerating in part because coverage gains under the Affordable Care Act that had propelled the faster rate leveled off, according to a new federal report.
Spending on all health care increased 4.3% in 2016, according to a report Wednesday from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. That compares with 5.1% in 2014 and 5.8% in 2015.
That is still above the historic lows of 2008 through 2013, when health spending grew at an average 3.8% a year. Much of the slowdown in those years has been linked to less use of medical services during the recession and tepid economic recovery.
The new report, published in the journal Health Affairs, said total U.S. health-care spending reached $3.3 trillion in 2016.
The rate of growth is closely watched because government spending on health care can significantly affect the federal deficit. Republicans in Congress this year had unsuccessfully sought to reduce federal spending on Medicaid, the health program for low-income and disabled Americans.”
-Stephanie Armour, “U.S. Health Spending Rose at a Slower Pace in 2016,” The Wall Street Journal online, Dec. 6, 2017 04:01pm