Medicine

U.S. Health Bills to Hit $4.6T in 2020

Here's something to think about during the debate over Medicare cuts. Medicare's Office of the Actuary forecasts that the nation will spend $4.6 trillion on medical bills in 2020, $1 out of every $5 in the economy. State and local government spending will account for just under half the total. But despite insuring 30 million new people, President Obama's health-care overhaul won't increase costs significantly. Most of the newly insured are young and relatively healthy. The main drivers for the increase in costs are an aging population and the expensive medical innovations. Health-care spending is expected to top $2.7 trillion this year--$8,650 per capita or $1 of every $6 in the economy.