Health Care: Counting Costs Still the Name of the Game

In the last 50 years of government accounting, the biggest curve on the charts has been the downward track of spending on health care. Since 2008, spending has declined to historic lows, due to the recession. Now, with rising employment and millions getting coverage under the Affordable Care Act, health care spending looks headed for an uptick. More use of the medical system will result in insurers paying more for procedures, and in turn, increasing premiums. The bottom line? The government might end up spending more on fulfilling demand created by the new health law than current projections. Economists of all stripes continue to argue that rising health care spending is the biggest threat to the U.S. budget. Let’s hope that the next stage of reform addresses the core problem: the cost of care.

John Howell, Editorial Director