National Health Spending In 2014 Faster Growth Driven By Coverage Expansion And Prescription Drug Spending
Author: Anne B. Martin, Micah Hartman, Joseph Benson, Aaron Catlin
US health care spending increased 5.3 percent to $3.0 trillion in 2014. On a per capita basis, health spending was $9,523 in 2014, an increase of 4.5 percent from 2013. The share of gross domestic product devoted to health care spending was 17.5 percent, up from 17.3 percent in 2013. The faster growth in 2014 that followed five consecutive years of historically low growth was primarily due to the major coverage expansions under the Affordable Care Act, particularly for Medicaid and private health insurance, which contributed to an increase in the insured share of the population. Additionally, the introduction of new hepatitis C drugs contributed to rapid growth in retail prescription drug expenditures, which increased by 12.2 percent in 2014. Spending by the federal government grew at a faster rate in 2014 than spending by other sponsors of health care, leading to a 2-percentage-point increase in its share of total health care spending between 2013 and 2014.