• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Recession Accelerates Shift Towards Greater Control of Washington in Health Care

    While overall health care spending slowed in 2009, it is the underlying trend that is more troubling: the continuing decline in private coverage and the steady increase in government health care. These trends will only accelerate under Obamacare.

    According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), total health care spending grew by 4 percent in 2009 to reach $2.5 trillion. This represents a slower rate of growth from 2008, but the slower increase still outpaced spending as an overall percentage of GDP.

    The 3.2 percent decline in private coverage and the slowing of out-of-pocket spending by consumers are attributed to the recession. Fewer people with jobs mean fewer people with traditional employer-based health care coverage and less income to pay for health care.

    The decline in private coverage is reportedly offset by a massive increase in Medicaid as more individuals enroll in the government health care program for the poor. According to CMS, Medicaid spending grew at a rate of 9 percent, nearly doubling from 4.9 percent in 2008. Moreover, the federal share of this spending increased 22 percent as the federal government picked up a greater share of the cost as directed under the stimulus bill.

    Under the new health care law, the shift to more government-controlled health care spending will only worsen. According to former Congressional Budget Director Doug Holtz-Eakin, the new health care law will encourage more employers to drop their health care coverage in place of taxpayer-funded government health care. Holtz-Eakin and Cameron Smith estimate that 35 million people will lose their employer-based coverage under Obamacare. Government health care spending will also increase as the new law expects to add over 16 million to Medicaid and spend over $400 billion on new health care subsidies.

    The health care sector has been steadily moving to a tipping point at which the federal government will control the majority of spending in the health care sector. The recession and responding policy changes have accelerated movement toward this point. And Obamacare will put the country on the fast track over the cliff.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Recession Accelerates Shift Towards Greater Control of Washington in Health Care

    1. Bobbie says:

      obamacare effects every aspect of this country's designed recession. Including our health in a negative way. Repeal and when obama veto's it, all can witness his unwillingness to work for the people and his definite willingness to work against. It is unfair, corrupt, dangerous and it's not wanted. The use of the term "reform" is covering up what it really is, TAKE-OVER.

    2. Corky, Howey in the says:

      There is no doubt in my mind that we needed some sort of reform to get our health care under control. BUT we did not need a massive government take over.

      I agree we need to repeal and start over and do it right. The take over was a deliberate move, by the present administration, to take control of the people and move them into a position of being subservint to the government. He wants us to be completely dependent on the White House…….

    3. Dennis Georgia says:

      Bobbie, you are exactly right. America is well on its way to be a socialized country, toitally dependent on what the "guvment" will dole out, with no desire to work or make ones life better.

    4. Pingback: Tweets that mention The Foundry: Conservative Policy News. -- Topsy.com

    5. Pingback: Tweets that mention Recession Accelerates Shift Towards Greater Control of Washington in Health Care | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News. -- Topsy.com

    6. kyle bruner says:

      being a father and grandfather of 8 i hope this health care mess can be fixed in a way that is fair to every generation of the people in this country. i fear that until our different political parties learn to work together for the common good of all citizens of the this country instead of the constant behavior of a school yard kids it will be a tragedy that burdens our kids will bear.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×