US spending on health care estimated to reach $5.7 trillion in 2026

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Spending on health care in the U.S. will grow faster than the overall economy for the foreseeable future, according to a government report released Wednesday.

Health spending is expected to increase 5.5 percent annually through 2026, according to a report from the actuaries at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).


That’s 1 percentage point faster than economic growth projections. 

Overall, health spending is projected to make up 19.7 percent of the U.S. economy in 2026, up from 17.9 percent in 2016. In total, spending on health care in the U.S. is estimated to reach $5.7 trillion in 2026, about $2 trillion higher than this year. 

HHS attributed the hike to the increases in prices for medical goods and services for aging baby boomers. 

Prescription drugs are expected to see the fastest growth, about 6.3 percent a year on average. 

HHS also predicted the uninsured rate would increase slightly because of Congress’s repeal of ObamaCare’s individual mandate. 

By 2026, 3.3 million people could become uninsured, according to the report.  

The report assumes that younger and healthier people will be the most likely to drop coverage after the repeal of the mandate takes effect in 2019.

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