Is anyone in the health care industry really surprised to learn that, "[f]ueled by rising hospital costs and health insurance premiums, U.S. employers, consumers and the government spent 9.3% more on health care in 2002 than they did in 2001"? (USA Today
) Not surprised, perhaps, but that doesn't mean everyone took the news in stride. Forbes
, for one, opined
that "Health Care Costs Rise Beyond Belief":
U.S. health care costs are rising so fast that not only do they outstrip the prior year, they even exceed forecasters' ability to project them.
In mid-2002, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services projected that national health expenditures would reach $2.8 trillion in 2011--an estimate based on a mean annual growth rate of 7.3%. Since then, the growth rate has increased significantly to 9.3%--to the point where health spending is already at nearly 15% of GDP, according to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), a unit of HHS.
This increase--and future projections--don't take into account the potential effects of the prescription drug entitlement in the Medicaid bill passed by Congress last year.
The full report from CMS
is available in Health Affairs
(for a hefty fee; unhelpful article abstract is here
); some of the details are on the CMS website here