For everyone who’s been going on about our (adopt Dr Evil voice) 2 Trillion Dollar health care industry, it’s now official. The 2006 data is out and we’re at 16% of GDP, $2.1 trillion and $7,000 and change per head. Growth, somewhere at the bottom of the trough, is around 6.5%. That’s nominal not real of course, but it’s still way over the economy’s growth rate, and that gap will grow if/when a recession hits.
The major change of course was the introduction in 2006 of Medicare Part D which mean that drug spending increased at over 8.5%. But then again, they’re telling us that Part D was less than originally projected. Although I bet you no one in CMS (or now out of it) will tell you what really was originally projected, and in fact which of the many revised projections the $41 Billion costs of Part D was really below!
And of course assuming that cost increases were stable in 2007, we’re actually already at 2.1 trillion + 6%, or 22.35 trillion!