New Blog by Karen Davis: Health Spending Continues to Moderate, Cost of Reform Overestimated

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<p>A recent report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) shows that national health spending grew at a historically low rate of 3.9 percent in 2010, almost paralleling the 3.8 percent increase in our gross domestic product last year. </p>
<p>In a <a href="/blog/2011/health-spending-continues-moderate-cost-reform-overestimated">new blog post</a>, Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis says this is somewhat reassuring news for the millions of American families and businesses who have struggled with rising health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs over the past decade. Davis says it's also good news for the federal government, as the slowdown indicates that the cost of health reform has been overestimated. </p>
<p>Whether the more modest growth in spending stems from the higher number of uninsured, uncertainty surrounding implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or a decade of efforts focused on patient safety, quality, and spending waste, it's clear that the original federal budget costs of the health reform law were overestimated. </p>
<p>"Any reduction in health spending growth is reason for cautious optimism as premium growth moderates and the public cost of providing affordable coverage to all is reduced," Davis says. "Indeed, the slowdown in health care costs in the last two years has already saved the nation substantially more in national health expenditures than CMS estimated health reform will have increased expenditures in 2020." <br /></p>