In its second term, the Obama Administration and the 113th Congress must address the relentless growth of health care spending, a major contributor to America’s long-term fiscal imbalance.
Growing health care spending is fueling the federal budget deficit, crowding out other priorities in state budgets, hindering the competitiveness of American businesses, restraining job growth, and jeopardizing the finances of American families. Victor Fuchs, considered by many to be the father of health economics,summarized the enormous payoff of confronting this issue: “If we solve our health care spending, practically all of our fiscal problems go away.”
However, while there is no lack of ideas for how to slow spending, action is hindered by a lack of consensus.
In a series of research briefs dedicated to flattening the trajectory of health care spending, RAND Health outlines four broad strategies for constraining spending growth in our market-oriented health care system: