There has been a great deal of discussion about the recent decreases in the rate of growth of health expenditures, and there has been a tendency to attribute it to the early effects of health care reform. In fact, while such effects may lie in the future, the major reason that health care spending growth has slowed is that economic growth has decreased. This relationship is most apparent when health care spending today is compared with GDP several years ago. The reason for this lagged relationship has been described by Getzen and others. It relates to the expansion of health benefits, services, employment, etc. when business profits are up and tax revenues are strong and the reverse when economic reversals occur, always with a lag between changes in the macroeconomy and the ripple effect on health care spending. The illustration below tells the tale. There must certainly be other reasons for fluctuations in health care spending, but most is explained by preceding fluctuations in economic growth.
- National Income Inequality and Local Poverty: Correlates of Health Care Spending
- Another Look at Jobs
- Squeezing Physicians is Not Good for Jobs Growth
- IOM says “Target Decision Making.” No. Target Poverty
- Geographic Variation Is Explained by Disease
- More War on Waste: Do Hospitals Profit from Complications?
- Not Your Usual Primary Care Provider
- Critical Access Hospitals: The Canary in the Mine for Specialist Shortages?
- Readmission Legislation is Harming Hospitals that Care for Poorer and Sicker Patinets
- Federal Reserve Paper: Geographic Variation Can’t Tell Much about Efficiency or Quality
- Action for Better Healthcare.com: Readmission legislation will harm hospitals that care for the poor
- BetterHealth.com: Geographic Variation & Healthcare Reform
- Diversity and Consistency–The Challenge Of Maintaining Quality in a Multidisciplinary Workforce
- Interview on the Medinnovation Blog
- It’s Time to Address the Problem of Physician Shortages – Graduate Medical Education is the Key
- More Is More And Less Is Less: The Case Of Mississippi
- Myth and Reality Underlying the Needed Expansion of Graduate Medical Education
- Senate HELP Committee Testimony
- States With More Health Care Spending Have Better-Quality Health Care: Lessons About Medicare
- States With More Physicians Have Better-Quality Health Care
- Weighing the Evidence for Expanding Physician Supply