A new Congressional Budget Office report out last week has the healthcare world scratching its head over the possibility that Obamacare might—in part—be responsible for what is being described as a significant slowdown in the growth of healthcare costs in America.
According to the report, hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending for Medicare and Medicaid are being removed from government projections as federal healthcare spending is now expected to be full 15 percent less than what had been initially budgeted for 2012. The surprisingly low spending projections come as the growth in healthcare spending has hit a new low for the fourth consecutive year.
To be sure, a big part of the decline in healthcare spending is the result of the recession’s impact on people’s ability to lay out cash on health related expenditures. Indeed, up until this point, most analysts have agreed that the poor economy was pretty much the sole cause for the improvement we have seen in containing the explosion of healthcare spending