Researchers: Obamacare is holding down health costs | Arkansas Blog

Monday, March 12, 2012

Researchers: Obamacare is holding down health costs

Posted By on Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 9:46 AM

This is one the Republican war room won't be retweeting. From Talking Points Memo:

In a development with potentially profound implications — both for Medicare itself and for the broader ideological fight between the two parties over the role of government — researchers writing in the New England Journal of Medicine believe that the growth in per patient Medicare costs has slowed, contra earlier projections that spending would soar at an unsustainable rate. More importantly, the researchers believe this trend will hold over time, thanks largely to the Affordable Care Act’s sweeping cost-control policies.

It’s not yet clear whether the trend will be permanent — one key reason cost growth has slowed has nothing to do with policy or innovation, but rather that the economy has been depressed for years. But the ACA expanded on provider payment savings policies from the 2000s and adopted a plethora of new measures, some of which are already proving successful at reducing spending. On top of that, U.S. medical cost growth, long having exceeded other areas of the economy, is currently at a five-decade low and more closely in line with GDP.

Hard to sell the Republican plan for privatization, with its sure increases for profits, against this record, TPM suggests.

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