The CMS offered the estimates in a statement released by Sean Keehan, its Economist in the Office of the Actuary, noting that health spending has still yet to reach pre-recession levels, situated roughly at about 9 per cent per year. Keehan also explained that health spending growth is influenced by a variety of factors, including but not limited to the Affordable Care Act massively expanding the national level of health insurance coverage, aging of the population and higher life expectancy driving up Medicare costs and stronger economic growth perspectives.
The CMS also released a statement in which it marks half a century since the beginning of social insurance programs Medicare and Medicaid, which offered free or extremely cheap medical insurance to the elderly, disabled and those with lower incomes.
According to the statement, the number of Americans covered by Medicare has grown almost two and half times since its 1966 debut, from little over 19 million to almost 55 million now, with the last three years marking a three million increase. Medicare is the program which offers health insurance to individuals aged 65 or older, those who are disabled from various accidents and those who suffer from either end stage renal diseases or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
“Over the last 50 years, Medicare has become part of the fabric of our communities, protecting the well-being and financial security of millions of American families as they age or if they become disabled. In doing so, Medicare has kept up with dramatic demographic changes and led the charge toward improving health care delivery” is said in the statement.
Medicaid enrollments have also reached a significant number of low-income families over the years. According to May 2015 data, 71.6 Americans were receiving one form or another of benefits from the program.
In his weekly White House address, President Barack Obama declared that the Accordable Care Act finished the job started by the two health insurance programs 50 years ago by finally expanding it to categories which couldn’t be previously covered. The ACA, which is known as Obamacare due to it being a principal point of his presidential campaigns, also expanded on the two programs, with it adding 12.8 million Americans to the Medicaid beneficiaries pool.
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