CHA News Article

Report Explores Rise in Health Care Spending With More Coverage, Care

The California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) has released a new report on U.S. health care spending in 2015. Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Congressional Budget Office and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, among other sources, the report finds that U.S. health spending reached $3.2 trillion in 2015, accounting for 17.8 percent of gross domestic product. Notably, the federal government surpassed households to finance the largest share (29 percent) of health spending. Further findings include:

  • National health spending grew by 5.8 percent, up from 5.3 percent in 2014. This increase was driven by increased use of services and enrollment in Medicaid, and private insurance expansion.
  • For the second year in a row, prescription drug spending was the fastest growing goods/service category, increasing by 9 percent, or $26.7 billion, in 2015.
  • Federal government spending grew 8.9 percent ($75 billion) in 2015, faster than spending by business, households, or state and local government. About half of the increase ($38.5 billion) was spent on Medicaid.
  • Federal subsidies for Affordable Care Act marketplace premiums and cost sharing accounted for 3 percent ($29.2 billion) of federal health spending.
  • Per capita health spending increased by 5 percent in 2015, up from 4.4 percent in 2014.