According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, Americans spent $3.5 trillion on healthcare in 2017, representing approximately $10,739 per person. From one year before, spending grew at a 3.9% rate, the slowest since 2013 and a decline from 4.8% and 5.8% in 2016 and 2015 respectively. As a percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the CMS says healthcare spending stayed flat from 2016 to 2017 at 17.9% of GDP, the first time since 2013.
In 2013, Congress expanded the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which enabled more Americans to afford medical services. The expansion of the Act is likely responsible for the sharp increases in the following years. Since 2015, there has also been increased pressure from federal health officials for increased transparency about pricing from insurers and healthcare providers and more cooperation between various healthcare providers to reduce increasing costs and improve health outcomes.
Last week, a Federal judge in Texas ruled the ACA unconstitutional in a lawsuit, potentially opening the door for a Supreme Court ruling in the future.
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