Why we need to be optimistic about the future of health care
By Alex Wong and Jonathan ChengAssociated PressWASHINGTON (AP) For years, the U.S. has relied on Medicare and Medicaid to provide health care for its most vulnerable citizens.
But in the last two years, more than a third of all beneficiaries have been covered by private health insurance, and the federal government is facing serious cuts.
The result: the uninsured rate has doubled in the past year, and Medicaid and Medicare are under intense pressure to reduce their spending and cover the costs of ailing beneficiaries.
As the economy recovers, that will likely force states to choose between the health care system that provides for all Americans and one that will leave those who can least afford it in the dark.
And the stakes are high.
The uninsured rate is now higher than in 2014, a decade after it started its decline.
And that trend could worsen as the U and other countries recover from the pandemic.
The latest CBO projections are even worse.
The agency expects that by 2021, the share of the U, the uninsured and the 65-64-year-old population with private health coverage will fall below 35% while the share with Medicare and the uninsured will rise.
The numbers suggest the public’s share of health coverage is poised to rise even as health care costs are falling.
And the healthiest Americans are most at risk.
And it could mean big trouble for the U., the nation’s second-largest economy, which has already lost about 10 million jobs since the onset of the pandemics.
A decade ago, Medicare and private insurance accounted for nearly two-thirds of all Americans’ health care.
Now they account for more than half.
“Medicare and Medicaid have had to take on a higher share of total health care spending because the ACA has increased the share that people can use the program for,” said Robert Laszewski, a senior fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.
“It’s really been a big burden on the government.”
In 2021, for example, the federal Medicare budget will be about 3.2% of the economy.
That compares with 2.4% in 2020, 2.6% in 2019 and 2.7% in 2018.
The gap could grow as states and the White House push for expanded coverage for the poor, as well as more generous funding for the uninsured.
Medicare’s budget will rise about 10% annually through 2021.
The federal government will spend about $3.5 trillion on Medicare, Medicaid and other health care programs through 2021, about a quarter of the projected spending.
Medicaid, by contrast, will fall by a mere 3.5% annually in 2021, from $3 trillion in 2020 to $2.4 trillion in 2021.
It’s the smallest decline since 1997.
Medicine spending on the uninsured is projected to increase by about 9.5%, or $1,200 per person.
That would be $1.5 billion per person less than the $1 billion per capita increase in 2020.
In contrast, the overall federal budget will increase by $5.2 trillion over the next decade.
The difference between the Medicare budget and the overall economy is roughly $3,700 per person, or roughly $5,000 less than what Medicare pays for health care than in 2020 and 2019.
The U.N. and the OECD are both forecasting a significant increase in health care cost inflation over the coming decade.
And it could accelerate.
The CBO says the U’s share in total health costs will increase from 30% in 2021 to 50% by 2028.
The OECD is more optimistic, predicting that the share will grow to 70% by 2025.
By the end of 2021, Medicare is projected by the CBO to have spent about $1 trillion on health care and will be projected to spend about half that amount.
By 2029, Medicare’s spending will have reached $1 trilion, or about $9.6 trillion, and private insurers are projected to have nearly tripled their share of all health care outlays to nearly 60%.
Medicare will pay for about 40% of all medical expenses in 2021 and the private insurers will pay about 25%, according to the CBO.
The ratio will grow further if private insurers receive more money from Medicare.
A recent analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation projects that Medicare will pay more for health coverage for Americans of every income level by 2039 than it does today.
In fact, the CBO expects Medicare to be paying for less than half of the overall cost of health insurance by the end.
It expects that private insurers and the government will be paid roughly the same amount of money.
In 2021 alone, private insurers accounted for about half of Medicare spending on out-of-pocket costs for the elderly.
That’s up from about 40 years ago, but still less than 30 years ago.
The average cost of private insurance in 2021 is $3 for a 64-year old, up from $2 in 2019.
That may be an indication that the federal health care law is working.
But the CBO is also