Bad News: Over the Next 75 Years, All the Increase in National Income is Going to Health Care

Or maybe it isn’t bad news. It depends on how much you value health care. This is Chernew, Hirth and Cutler, writing in Health Affairs:

Our estimates now show that at approximately long-run average rates of excess health spending growth, 119 percent of the real increase in per capita income would be devoted to health spending over the 2007–2083 projection period. We argue that an alternative scenario, under which health spending grew just one percentage point faster than real per capita income, is “affordable,” although 53.6 percent of real income growth over the period would go to health care.

Comments (6)

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  1. Vicki says:

    Combine this post with the previous one and the message is: the whole developed world is going to spend all its income gains on health care.

  2. Ken says:

    The NCPA has been saying for years that we are on an unsustainable path.

  3. Stephen C. says:

    The sad thing is that Obama and the congressional Democrats have no idea how to control health care costs, even as they plan a government takeover of the entire system.

  4. Bart Ingles says:

    You can’t control health costs if you can’t break out where the increases are happening. Is spending for public and private insurance (adjusted for cost-shifting) increasing at the same rate? And within sectors, where is the growth happening?

    The only value in knowing overall growth is to point out the need for closer examination. I don’t see how you can act on the aggregate figures.

  5. Bruce says:

    Bart, it’s very hard to sort these things out because there is so much cost shifting going on. Where Medicare payment are really low, private sector reimbursement tends to be higher and vice versa.

  6. amanda bestein says:

    Great information thanks for getting this out there for people like me to read.