Feb 15, 2017

National health spending slowed down in 2016

Artur Bergman / Flickr Creative Commons

Americans spent $3.36 trillion on health care in 2016, a 4.8% increase from 2015, according to the latest spending projections from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Although last year's growth rate in health care expenses was lower than the 5.8% increase in 2015, it was still more than double the broader U.S. inflation rate of 2.1%, according to the report from the agency's Office of the Actuary. That indicates health care costs have moderated broadly during the Obamacare years, but health care continues to eat up more of the U.S. economy. Read on for some of the other important stats from the report.

  • The growth rate of national health care expenses slowed somewhat last year because Medicaid didn't grow as fast. It had increased a lot more quickly in 2014 and 2015, when Obamacare's Medicaid expansion kicked in.
  • By 2025, health care expenses will consume about 19.9% of the country's GDP, up from 18.1% in 2016. That's actually a shade lower than the 20.1% federal actuaries predicted for 2025 last year.
  • The amount spent on health care will increase more rapidly over time as more people age into Medicare, when care is more expensive. Hospitals, doctors, drug companies, medical device firms and other players in the health care system also are expected to raise prices in the coming years due to "economywide price inflation."
  • More than 32% of the $3.36 trillion health care tab was spent on care in hospitals. Roughly 27% was spent on physicians and other providers, and 10% was spent on prescription drugs. (This shows that even though drug prices continue to ignite anger nationwide, a lot more money is spent on hospitals and doctors.)
  • Out-of-pocket spending grew more year over year in 2016 because of a "higher proportion of private health insurance enrollees being in high-deductible health plans."

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Jason Kilar named CEO of WarnerMedia

Jason Kilar, CEO of Hulu. Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Jason Kilar has been named CEO of WarnerMedia, effective May 1, the company announced Wednesday.

The big picture: Kilar, the founding CEO of Hulu, replaces John Stankey, AT&T’s president and chief operating officer. Kilar will report to Stankey, who has been acting as CEO of WarnerMedia. WarnerMedia is on the brink of launching its own streaming service, HBO Max. Kilar is a streaming, media and technology veteran, having spent years at Amazon leading its North American media business prior to his time at Hulu.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 883,225 — Total deaths: 44,156 — Total recoveries: 185,377Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 189,753 — Total deaths: 4,090 — Total recoveries: 7,141Map.
  3. Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index: It's "a tale of two Americas" as the rich are more likely to work from home and the poor are more likely to report to work.
  4. Federal government latest: President Trump said the next two weeks would be "very painful," with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans.
  5. State updates: Washington and California appear to have slowed their surges of new cases — Florida cases have been doubling the past four days, approaching 7,000.
  6. NYPD: Over 1,400 of its employees have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Private equity hits the brakes amid coronavirus recovery uncertainties

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Private equity is still working on opportunistic deals when it can get a break from portfolio triage, but it's also boarding up the exits amid new questions about the speed of the coronavirus recovery.

The state of play: Sale processes are being shelved daily, even ones that already launched with investment bankers, data rooms, and interested suitors.