As announced by the feds last Friday, the cost of healthcare in the US grew by 5.8% in 2015 – the fastest rate we’ve seen in eight years.
Total healthcare spending for 2015 was $3.2 trillion – a number reached only through President Obama’s failed healthcare overhaul and the steep price of prescription drugs.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) points out that in 2015, health spending grew a full 2% more than did the overall economy. This is a serious problem because it makes affording adequate healthcare difficult and sometimes impossible for employers and individuals.
The HHS report also found that Washington shelled out 29% of overall healthcare spending for the year 2015, followed by families/individuals (28%), businesses (20%), and state/local governments (17%).
Medicaid spending increased by nearly 10% and spending by private insurance plans grew by 7.2%. Spending on prescription drugs via pharmacies rose 9%. Medicare spending grew by less than 5%, making it a sort of bright spot in the otherwise depressing report.
Healthcare was not a central issue of Donald Trump’s campaign, but he did promise to “repeal and replace” what he calls a “catastrophe” by calling on Congress to hold a special session.
Washington has already acknowledged that premiums are going to increase for 2017, but former White House official Ezekiel Emanuel argues that the program simply needs more time. “In the long term, the only way we get rate of increase down is by experimenting with alternative payment models,” said Emanuel. “We need to push harder and harder.”
But the reality is grim for many Americans who can’t afford the healthcare they need. Rising costs are particularly hard for Millennials, whose “healthcare costs are more than their mortgage costs or their rent, which by the way is a first in American history,” said Trump.
Trump took a huge step in the selection of Georgia Rep. Tom Price as HHS Secretary, and many believe this is a death knell for Obamacare. Price, who is also an orthopedic surgeon, has been a fierce critic of Obamacare from the very beginning.
“Premiums have gone up, not down. Many Americans lost the health coverage they were told time and time again by the president that they could keep,” said Price.
House Speaker Paul Ryan lauded Trump’s choice, calling Price “the absolute perfect choice for HHS Secretary.”
Price has been “studying how to accomplish that goal [replacing Obamacare] for more than six years,” reports The Washington Times.
To Hell with Obamacare!
This book was written by Joe Gilbertson of the Punching Bag Post Staff. This is the solution to the Obamacare fiasco: