Here’s a shocker: health care spending increased in 2007.
What matters, at this point, is what effect the deepening recession will have on spending in 2009 (and had in 2008). Delivery system job cuts and reduced drug spending (down big) are likely indicative of a tough 2009 (duh.).
The good news from the “U.S. health system” level (and it’s hardly good news) is that outlays increased slightly slower in 2007 than in 2006 (6.1 percent vs 6.7 percent respectively), much of the slow down is attributable to reduced prescription drug demand. The other side: health care costs grew faster than wages and and GDP. Health care now consumes 16.2 percent (up from 16 percent in 2006) of our nation’s entire gross domestic product. The dollar figure is a cool $2.2 trillion or $7,421 per person. Government spending on health care also increased.
Here’s how some media outlets covered the news (updated throughout the day):
Spending on prescription drugs slows USA Today
Health-Care Outlays Climb at Slowest Rate in Years Wall Street Journal
Spending Rise for Health Care and Prescription Drugs Slows The New York Times
Nation’s health spending rises, but not so much Associated Press
Healthcare spending in U.S. slows Los Angeles Times
Health Spending Continues To Explode Forbes