According to the National Health Statistics Group (NHSG), the primary drivers of personal health care spending growth between 2008 and 2017 will be increasing medical prices and utilization followed by the changing age-sex mix and population growth. What surprised me is that the aging population is not the primary problem.
The article unfortunately requires subscription or one-time fee, but it may be worthwhile. Here’s the abstract:
Health Spending Projections Through 2017: The Baby-Boom Generation Is Coming To Medicare
Sean Keehan, Andrea Sisko, Christopher Truffer, Sheila Smith,Cathy Cowan, John Poisal, M. Kent Clemens the National Health Expenditure Accounts Projections Team
The outlook for national health spending calls for continued steady growth. Spending growth is projected to be 6.7 percent in 2007, similar to its rate in 2006. Average annual growth over the projection period is expected to be 6.7 percent. Slower growth in private spending toward the end of the period is expected to be offset by stronger growth in public spending. The health share of gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to increase to 16.3 percent in 2007 and then rise throughout the projection period, reaching 19.5 percent of GDP by 2017.
Keehan S et al. Health Spending Projections Through 2017: The Baby-Boom Generation Is Coming To Medicare. Health Aff., March 1, 2008; 27(2): w145 – w155.