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Health spending will quicken, government analysis says

Health spending will quicken, government analysis says

Spending on healthcare is expected to quicken over the next decade, driven by people spending more of their disposable income on medical care, an aging population, and increases in the cost of care, according to an analysis by government economists.

The annual analysis released Wednesday by the nonpartisan Office of the Actuary within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services projects that spending will grow by an average of 5.5 percent each year during the period up to 2026, reaching $5.7 trillion.

That is partly because other parts of Obamacare caused spending to quicken, to roughly 5 percent beginning in 2014, because at that time the law increased spending by covering millions more people under public and private insurance.

Spending on publicly funded healthcare programs such as Medicare and Medicaid are expected to grow faster than private health insurance spending, mainly because the aging Baby Boom generation will enroll in the programs.

Medicaid, in contrast, can cover people who are on Medicare, but that typically happens when older adults in the program have additional medical needs that Medicare won't cover, such as nursing home care.

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