From today's edition of The New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/09/he.../09health.htmlA new government study says President Obama’s health care law will have negligible effects on total national health spending in the next 10 years, neither slowing nor fueling the explosive growth of medical costs.
About 32.5 million people will gain coverage, and health spending will grow slightly faster than projected under prior law — at an annual rate of 6.3 percent, rather than 6.1 percent, the report said.
For those who are interested, the full text of the article can be found at: National Health Spending Projections: The Estimated Impact Of Reform Through 2019 -- Sisko et al., 10.1377/hlthaff.2010.0788 -- Health Affairs
As noted during the health reform debate, I continue to believe that the biggest defect in the plan was not anything that was added to the plan, but its failure to tackle the excess cost growth issue. Failure to restrain the growth of health expenditures will create increased long-term fiscal pressure. Growth in such expenditures at a multiple of nominal GDP represents a large and growing imbalance. Unless foreigners are willing to finance an increasing share of the U.S. health system's costs--there is no evidence of any such long-term commitment--the system is on an unsustainable trajectory.
This new report confirms that the recently adopted health reforms, whatever one thinks of them on other attributes (coverage expansion, budget impact, etc.), has not "bent" the cost curve toward a more sustainable trajectory.