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Op-ed: Healthcare spending soars, painting negative picture of ACA

In an op-ed published in U.S. News & World Report, Mark Warshawsky, a senior researcher at Fairfax, Va.-based George Mason University's Mercatus Center, delves into how the ACA may not have met its goal of lowering healthcare spending.

Here are four points:

1. The CMS annual report found healthcare spending rallied 5.8 percent in 2015, after five years of "historically slow growth" from 2009 through 2013.

2. Americans spend one out of every five dollar earned on healthcare, with spending growing in the household and private business sectors. Household spending on healthcare jumped 6.9 percent last year and growth in spending by businesses increased 5.3 percent in 2015.

3. A Health Care Cost Institute report found spending last year per capita rallied 4.6 percent, which is greater than 2014's growth of 2.6 percent.

4. Mr. Warshawsky says medical care price inflation "picked up noticeably in 2015 and 2016 and is running at about 5 percent," based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Mr. Warshawsky says recent statistics are "highly damaging to the original and reasonable motivation for the ACA – to bend the healthcare spending and cost curve downwards."

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