Health care spending to accelerate, US report says

Published July 29, 2015 7:15AM (EDT)

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's lasted six years. But now welcome relief from rising U.S. health care costs seems to be winding down.

Health care spending will outpace the nation's overall economic growth over the next decade, the government forecast on Tuesday. That could be a problem for the next president, not to mention millions of other Americans.

Projections from experts at the Health and Human Services Department cite several reasons, including:

— Expanded insurance coverage under President Barack Obama's law.

— An aging population.

— Stronger general economic growth.

Expensive new drugs for hepatitis C add to the cost pressures.

By 2019, midway through the next president's term, health care spending will be increasing at roughly 6 percent a year, compared to an average annual rise of 4 percent from 2008 through 2013.

By Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar

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