In 2014, the nominal economic growth rate in the US was 3.91%. Not a great number but not a bad number.
In 2014, healthcare spending grew by 5.3%. Given context that is a great number
Total spending for health care in the United States increased 5.3 percent and reached $3.0 trillion in 2014, or $9,523 per person (Exhibit 1). This was faster than the rate of growth in 2013 (2.9 percent), which was the lowest in the fifty-five-year history of the National Health Expenditure Accounts. The acceleration in health spending growth in 2014 followed five consecutive years of historically low growth, which averaged 3.7 percent. Health care spending grew 1.2 percentage points faster than the overall economy in 2014 (when the nominal gross domestic product [GDP] increased 4.1 percent), resulting in a 0.2-percentage-point increase in the health spending share of GDP—to 17.5 percent. By comparison, the health spending share of GDP remained between 17.3 percent and 17.4 percent from 2009 to 2013.
The past few years had seen healthcare spending at or below nominal growth in the economy. That led to a stabilization or decline in healthcare spending to GDP ratio for several years which is a massive deal for long term federal fiscal planning.
But 2014 saw the share of GDP going to healthcare go up. Did something strange happen in 2014?
Why yes, 15 million more people got coverage and they used that coverage.
If it costs .2% GDP net to cover 15 million or more people that is dirt cheap and a good value for the money.
And a final piece of intriguing potential for good news:
All-time record low growth of 3.6% in 2013 revised down to 2.9%. Some reason to expect similar revisions next year https://t.co/KUYJBHDwnQ
— Altarum_CSHS (@Altarum_CSHS) December 2, 2015