A recent report by the President’s Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) reviewing the recent slowdown in health care costs examined its potential causes, its sustainability and the economic impact going forward.
While the report is intended to put the administration's efforts on health care reform in the best light, that shouldn’t diminish the importance of the slowdown and the lessons we can learn from it. When looking at future fiscal policy decisions, some crucial takeaways are:
- Changes in government policy can, at the very least, contribute to lowering health care cost growth.
- Unlike five or six years ago, health care experts are now fairly confident they have identified some strategies to build upon and there is an emerging political consensus for encouraging their implementation.
- The slowdown presents a unique opportunity to expand reform efforts, and is not a moment for complacency or resting on laurels.
The CEA report highlights the cost slowdown by examining how per-capita spending from 2010 to 2012 saw the lowest growth rate for a three-year...