Private Insurance Spending has Grown Much Faster than Medicare and Medicaid Spending

“Private insurance’s costs are skyrocketing”

Reproduced from Kaiser Family Foundation; Chart: Axios Visuals

“The cost of private health insurance is out of control, compared to Medicare and Medicaid. You see that clearly if you take a long-term view of recently released federal data on health spending.

Why it matters: This is why the health care industry — not just insurers, but also hospitals and drug companies — is so opposed to proposals that would expand the government’s purchasing power. And it’s why some progressives are so determined to curb, or even eliminate, private coverage.

By the numbers: Per capita spending for private insurance has grown by 52.6% over the last 10 years.

  • Per-capita spending for Medicare grew by 21.5% over the same period, and Medicaid 12.5%.

Private insurance generally pays higher prices for care than Medicare, which generally pays more than Medicaid.

  • There’s a long-running debate about whether public programs deliver efficiency because of their purchasing power, or simply underpay.
  • Democrats have proposed a variety of steps to curb health care costs, including cutting payments for out-of-network care, competition from a public insurance plan, and steep payment cuts through Medicare for All.
  • Industry opposes most of them.

The bottom line: The industry knows cutting government spending can only go so far. Any effort to rein in health care costs will have to confront the growth in the cost of private insurance.”

Private insurance’s costs are skyrocketing, Drew Altman, Kaiser Family Foundation, Dec 16, 2019

“On a per enrollee basis, private insurance spending has grown much faster than Medicare and Medicaid spending”

“Per enrollee spending by private insurance grew by 52.6% from 2008 to 2018 — much faster than both Medicare and Medicaid spending growth per enrollee (21.5% and 12.5%, respectively). Generally speaking, private insurance pays higher prices for healthcare than Medicare and Medicaid.”

How has U.S. spending on healthcare changed over time? By Rabah Kamal, Daniel McDermott, and Cynthia Cox, Kaiser Family Foundation, Posted December 20, 2019 

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