WASHINGTON (AP) — The government says U.S. health care spending will keep growing faster than the overall economy in the foreseeable future, squeezing public insurance programs and employers who provide coverage.
Annual projections released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services cite an aging population and an uptick in prices for health care services and goods.
Spending is projected to rise by an average of 5.5 percent annually through 2026, or about 1 percentage point faster than economic growth.
Prescription drugs account for the fastest increase, 6.3 percent a year on average, due to the high cost of advanced medications.
Although Congress recently repealed the Affordable Care Act's requirement that most Americans have health insurance, the share of people with coverage is only expected to dip slightly, hovering around 89 percent.