Healthcare spending falls despite ObamaCare enrollments

Spending on healthcare actually decreased in the first three months of the year despite the flood of enrollments in ObamaCare, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported on Wednesday.

An earlier estimate of the gross domestic product (GDP) found healthcare spending had actually increased by 10 percent in the first quarter, boosting overall growth. Some experts interpreted that figure as a sign that people were using their new coverage under ObamaCare.

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But the final GDP report paints a far different picture, finding healthcare spending decreased and subtracted 0.16 percent from economic growth as the economy shrank by 2.9 percent.

Healthcare spending is considered a marker for how well ObamaCare is doing. As more people have access to health insurance they are expected to seek treatments contributing to an increase in healthcare spending.

However, some healthcare economists such as those at the Altarum Institute in Ann Harbor, Mich., said they were skeptical of the initial GDP report.

The institute released a report last month that stated healthcare spending was rising but were skeptical of the administrations numbers.

Despite the setback for ObamaCare proponents, the White House said it’s optimistic that more people will be using their insurance under ObamaCare.

“Looking ahead, it is likely that the coming quarters will see faster growth in total health care spending as the millions of people who gained health insurance coverage during the Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment period begin to use their new coverage, fulfilling the law’s goal of expanding access to health care services,” said Jason Furman with the Council of Economic Advisers.