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How Much Will We Be Spending for Health Care, and Where?

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Health Affairs released its projection for health care spending in the U.S. over the next ten years, and in another study showed where we are going to spend it.

During the projection period (2008-2018), average annual growth in national health spending is projected to be 6.2 percent–2.1 percentage points faster than average annual growth in gross domestic product (GDP). The health share of GDP is anticipated to rise rapidly from 16.2 percent in 2007 to 17.6 percent in 2009, largely as a result of the recession, and then climb to 20.3 percent by 2018. Public payers are expected to become the largest source of funding for health care in 2016 and are projected to pay for more than half of all national health spending in 2018. [Health Affairs 28, no. 2 (2009): w346-w357 (published online 24 February 2009; 10.1377/hlthaff.28.2.w346)]

This study responds to recent calls for information about how personal health expenditures from the National Health Expenditure Accounts are distributed across medical conditions. It provides annual estimates from 1996 through 2005 for thirty-two conditions mapped into thirteen all-inclusive diagnostic categories. Circulatory system spending was highest among the diagnostic categories, accounting for 17 percent of spending in 2005. The most costly conditions were mental disorders and heart conditions. Spending growth rates were lowest for lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia, coronary heart disease, and stroke, perhaps reflecting benefits of preventive care. [Health Affairs 28, no. 2 (2009): w358-w367 (published online 24 February 2009; 10.1377/hlthaff.28.2.358)]


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