MyLife™ Home Health CEO, Bob Ebel, has been tapped by U.S. Senator Richard Durbin and President Obama to serve on a national health care commmittee charged with improving care for seniors while streamlining expenditures.
U.S. health care spending experienced historically low rates of growth in 2009 and 2010 according to the annual report of national health expenditures (NHE) analysts at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported in January 2012. U.S. healthcare spending grew 3.9 percent in 2010 following record slow growth of 3.8 percent in 2009; the two slowest rates of growth in the 51 year history of the NHE Accounts.
The low rate of growth, the data show, reflects lower utilization in health care than in previous years. U.S health care spending reached $2.6 trillion or $8402 per person in 2010. As health spending growth remained low, growth in the U.S. economy-gross domestic product (GDP) (4.2 percent)-rebounded. As such in 2010, the health spending share of the overall economy was unchanged at 17.9 percent. In the past, this share has increased, rising over time from 5.2 percent in 1960.
Despite this recent good news, the federal government financed 29 per cent of the nation’s health care spending in 2010, an increase of six percentage point from its share in 2007 of 23 percent and reached $742 billion. Part of that increase came from enhanced federal matching funds for State Medicaid programs under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act which expired in 2011. Medicare spending grew 5.0 percent in 2010, a deceleration from growth of 7.0 percent in 2009.
“For five months, I was my parents’ death panel. And where the costly chaos of Medicare failed, a team of salaried doctors and nurses offered a better way.” Read Joe Klein’s poignant end of life journey with his parents in the NATION section of the June 11, 2012 issue of Time Magazine. Its subject matter will be dealt with by each and every one of us at some point in the not all too distant future.
Politicians are eyeing Medicare as a spending program ripe for cuts to help reduce the nation’s deficit. And so it follows that the future of Medicare looms as a key battleground issue in the 2012 general election. But proposals to change the popular program tend to alarm older Americans.
Many skilled nursing operators taking part in a new survey said they planned to lay off employees, slash benefits and delay building plans due to looming or recent Medicare and Medicaid cuts.