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Trends in Health Care Cost Growth and the Role of the Affordable Care Act

Council of Economic Advisors, November 2013 – Trends in Health Care Cost Growth and the Role of the Affordable Care Act

“The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed against a backdrop of decades of rapid growth in health care spending in the United States. While much of this historical increase reflects the development of new treatments that have greatly improved health and well-being (Cutler 2004), there is widespread agreement that the system suffered from serious inefficiencies that increased costs and reduced the quality of care that patients receive. A key goal of the ACA was to begin wringing these inefficiencies out of the health care system, simultaneously reducing the growth of health care spending – and its burden on families, employers, and state and federal budgets – while increasing the quality of the care delivered. This report analyzes recent trends in health care costs, the forces driving those trends, and their
likely economic benefits.”

  • See also Gallup Poll news release, November 21, 2013 – “Nearly one-quarter of Americans (23%) say cost is the most urgent health problem facing the U.S. today, a four-percentage-point increase since last year that has allowed it to surpass access as the most pressing issue. Americans named access as the top problem from 2007-2012.”

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