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Healthcare Spending Up By 5.3 Percent, Most Since 2008

Data released this week by the U.S. Office of the Actuary found that Americans spent 5.3 percent more on healthcare in 2014 than in 2013, pushing the bill north of $3.03 trillion.
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Data released this week by the U.S. Office of the Actuary found that Americans spent 5.3 percent more on healthcare in 2014 than in 2013, pushing the bill north of $3.03 trillion.

Modern Healthcare reports that the growth is the most since the 2008 recession, which found many Americans cutting back on elective healthcare procedures. The increase is attributable to the increased availability and demand of healthcare because of the Affordable Care Act as well as the skyrocketing costs of specialty drugs, such as the hepatitis C treatments that hover between $80,000 and $100,000 for a standard 12-week course.

Despite the increase, the magazine reports that actuaries are reluctant to bet on a return of double-digit spending growth rates year-over-year. The reform law is still in its infancy, and there’s a good chance that the spending will begin to level out as it matures.

Medicaid expenditures also jumped by 11 percent. So far, 31 states and the District of Columbia have expanded the program under the reform law or came up with an alternate waiver plan. Texas is not one of those.

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