What'll it cost by 2015?

Don’t know quite what to say about this report:

The nation’s tab for health care — already the highest per person in
the industrialized world — could hit $3.6 trillion by 2014, or nearly
19 percent of the entire U.S. economy, up from 15.4 percent now, a
sobering government projection says.

Growth
in health-care spending will outpace economic growth through the next
decade, and the government will pick up an increasing share of the tab.

By 2014, the nation’s spending for health care will equal $11,045 for
every man, woman and child, up from $6,423 each this year, says the
report released recently by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid
Services. Those numbers are not adjusted for inflation.

And as spending rises, public health programs such as Medicare and
Medicaid will pay an increasing proportion, hitting 49 percent of all
spending by 2014, up from 45.6 percent in 2003: "That could have
important implications for the budget as a whole," says the government.

"We all know the current system is not sustainable: Health care cannot
keep rising faster than gross domestic product," says Eugene Steuerle,
a senior fellow at the Urban Institute. But, he says, the United States
has been unwilling to embrace ways to control rising spending: limits
on care and prices set by insurers or the government.

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