Healthcare Reform Turns Out To Be a Pretty Good Deal

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Researchers at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have produced new estimates of national healthcare spending with and without healthcare reform. Here’s the key chart, showing projected growth rates over the next decade:

Take a look at 2021. The red line is projected spending growth on healthcare. The green line is projected spending growth if we hadn’t passed healthcare reform. Do you see a difference? I don’t.

Now, there are two conclusions you can draw from this. First, this report suggests that healthcare reform isn’t likely to rein in spending growth much. That’s the bad news. Second, it suggests that healthcare reform isn’t likely to cost very much. That’s the good news. Over at the LA Times, Noam Levey runs the numbers from the report and concludes that total national healthcare spending in 2021 without ACA comes to $4.72 trillion. With ACA it comes to $4.78 trillion. For that tiny amount — a difference of roughly 1% — about 30 million more people will have healthcare coverage. Pretty good deal, eh?

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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