National Health Spending Projections Through 2020: Economic Recovery And Reform Drive Faster Spending Growth

From the Office of the Actuary, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Health Affairs, July 28, 2011

National Health Expenditures, billions:
2011 – $2,708.4
2020 – $4,638.4

National Health Expenditures, per capita:
2011 – $8,648.5
2020 – $13,708.8

National Health Expenditures, as percent of GDP:
2011 – 17.7%
2020 – 19.8%


By Don McCanne, MD

This year we are spending $2.7 trillion on health care, or about $8,650 per person. What can we expect after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is fully implemented? In 2020, we will be spending over $4.6 trillion, or about $13,700 per person. As a percent of GDP, our health care spending will increase from the current 17.7 percent to almost 20 percent.

Is the Affordable Care Act really affordable? A single payer national health program would be effective in controlling costs, but, much more importantly, it would ensure that all of us – no exceptions – would receive the health care that we need. The Affordable Care Act will cost us more while leaving far too many broke and without health care.

We can still have the health care system that we need, but we’ll have to replace our dysfunctional representatives in Congress. Can we do that?

Re-posted with permission from