Healthcare spending in the U.S. is projected to have grown to $2.5 trillion in 2009, increasing the industry's share of the national gross domestic product at the fastest rate in 50 years, the CMS estimates in a new report.
Healthcare spending pegged at $2.5 trillion in '09
Judging by current growth rates, Medicare and Medicaid are expected to account for more than half of all healthcare spending by 2012, driven by swift growth in Medicaid because of widespread joblessness during the recession, according to the annual CMS findings reported in Health Affairs.
Federal estimates say healthcare spending grew by 5.7% in 2009, even though the national gross domestic product actually declined overall, which caused healthcare's share of GDP to increase at the fastest rate since the CMS began tracking the statistic in 1960. In 2009, healthcare is estimated to have accounted for 17.3% of all goods and services produced in the U.S., a 1.1 percentage point increase from 2008. By 2019, healthcare spending is expected to increase to $4.5 trillion because of the aging baby boomer population, growing to 19.3% of the gross domestic product by that time.
The CMS noted that all findings were prepared without regard to the changes that could come through federal healthcare reform legislation. If a reform law were to pass Congress and receive White House approval, federal officials said they would prepare a second report taking its effects into account.
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