Flatter Healthcare Spending: Boon or Bane?

A new report from the U.S. Council of Economic Advisors tells us that healthcare spending growth over the last three years is the flattest ever recorded. Per capita health spending has grown just 1.3% in this period.

For Democrats, this glorious triumph is proof that Obamacare is already working perfectly. For Republicans, this terrible news is proof that Obamacare is destroying the vitality of our economy. What middle ground?

If our polarized culture gave airtime to unbiased analysis of health policy and its results, we would be hearing that a big reason for slower healthcare spending growth is the lingering effects of the devastating recession that came at the end of the Bush administration. And we would also hear about the contribution of major changes afoot in the delivery of American healthcare. Both factors are a big part of what’s happening to healthcare spending.

But mud wrestling is more fun to watch.

Click here to read more in USA Today, click here to read more in the Washington Post, and click here to read the report from the Council of Economic Advisors.

Flat, photograph © Lotus Carroll / flickr

Subscribe by email to follow the accumulating evidence and observations that shape our view of health, obesity, and policy.