CAHC Sounds Alarm on New CMS Health Spending Projections

Healthcare spending expected to account for nearly 20% of GDP within a decade 

WASHINGTON, DC (February 21, 2019): The Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC)  – a coalition of employers, insurers, life science companies, PBMs, brokers, agents, patient groups, and physician organizations – responded today to national health expenditure projections published in Health Affairs from the CMS Office of the Actuary. 

CMS projections show that national healthcare spending is expected to grow by 5.5 percent annually - a faster clip than in recent years, and faster than wage growth or inflation - accounting for 19.4 of gross domestic product by the year 2027. 

CAHC President Joel White released the following statement: 

"These grim projections from CMS must be a wake-up call for Washington. Patients and taxpayers should never be forced to reckon with a system in which healthcare spending accounts for a whopping 20 percent of GDP even as out-of-pocket costs remain unacceptably high, average life expectancies have dropped, and too many are falling through the cracks." 

"Now is the time for lawmakers in both parties to come to the table on market-based solutions that can reverse these unsustainable trends. We offered more than a half-dozen such ideas 
in a whitepaper released just last month, and we're not done yet. With these findings in hand, we will be hard at work on Capitol Hill with a bipartisan agenda to foster competitive, transparent markets that place consumers at the center of a value-based care system." 

The CMS projections released this week support recent findings from CAHC, which depict how rising health costs are contributing to wage stagnation; eroding workers' take-home pay and exacerbating income inequality. 

CAHC brought lawmakers and stakeholders from both parties and all industry sectors together just last month to discuss affordability challenges and solutions at its Price of Good Health summit, featuring HHS Secretary Alex Azar, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN), and others. 

The coalition will outline further affordability policy solutions in its upcoming response to a request for information from Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN).