Affordable, quality health care. For everyone.

The Impact of Health Reform on Health System Spending

The health reform legislation passed in March 2010 will introduce a range of payment and delivery system changes designed to achieve a significant slowing of health care cost growth. Most assessments of the new reform law have focused only on the federal budgetary impact. This updated analysis projects the effect of national reform on total national health expenditures and the insurance premiums that American families would likely pay. We estimate that, on net, the combination of provisions in the new law will reduce health care spending by $590 billion over 2010–2019 and lower premiums by nearly $2,000 per family. Moreover, the annual growth rate in national health expenditures could be slowed from 6.3 percent to 5.7 percent.

Publication Details

Publication Date: May 21, 2010

D. M. Cutler, K. Davis, and K. Stremikis, The Impact of Health Reform on Health System Spending, Center for American Progress and The Commonwealth Fund, May 2010.


David Cutler
Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Professor Emerita in the Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Director, Market Analysis and Insight, California Health Care Foundation