President Obama has articulated an ambitious agenda for health care reform – containing cost while maintaining quality and choice, and providing affordable care for all Americans. Today, the White House Council of Economic Advisers released a comprehensive report detailing the potential economic gains from achieving significant reform, while also addressing the risks to the economy of maintaining the status quo.
The key finding of the study is that the benefits of reform would be substantial. For example, health care reform that truly “bends the curve” in costs could boost Gross Domestic Product by nearly 8% in 2030. For a typical American family of four, health care reform could result in an additional $10,000 in income by 2030 than they otherwise would have enjoyed.
Health care expenditures currently account for 18% of our nation’s GDP and if we remain on our current path, health care spending is expected to reach 34% -- over a third -- of GDP by 2040. Rising health care costs are contributing to the deficit and undermining the ability of our small businesses to compete in the global economy. For working Americans who rely on employer-sponsored health insurance, rising costs mean that an ever greater proportion of their compensation comes in the form of health benefits rather than take-home pay. And rising premiums mean more money out of their pockets, too. In New Hampshire, for example, the average annual premium for employer-sponsored family coverage was $13,311 in 2006*.
Attached, please find the full report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers outlining the economic case for health care reform.
White House Communications
*In 2008 dollars.