Health spending: The pause before fast-forward

by / Thursday, 08 October 2015 / Published in Economy

UK Only Article: 
standard article


Eradicating disease

Fly Title: 

Health spending


A new study suggests the current hiatus in spending will be temporary

THE recent slowdown in American health spending has attracted much attention. Some have dared to hope that a decades-long trend has been broken, in part because of cost-saving measures within reforms introduced by Barack Obama in 2010. But a new study of international health spending and financing published by the OECD, an intergovernmental think-tank, shows that wider influences must be at work, since America is not alone in experiencing such a deceleration over the past few years. That in turn suggests that medical spending is merely pausing before resuming its upward trajectory.
Between 2000 and 2009 real health spending per person grew at an annual rate of 4% on average across the 30 or so mainly rich countries that belong to the OECD. Since 2009 the rate has slackened to just 0.3% a year (see chart). Despite the slowdown in America, spending growth there has been higher than the OECD average. …
Source: The Economy