KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Health Law Gives Boost To U.S. Economy

Health spending grew at its fastest rate since the third quarter of 1980 -- a development attributed to the health law's implementation -- and thereby helped lift the nation's GDP by 1.1 percentage points.

Reuters: Obamacare Puts A Floor Under U.S. Economy In First Quarter
As the U.S. economy teetered on the brink of contraction in the first quarter, one thing stood out. Health care spending increased at its fastest pace in more than three decades. That surge is attributed to the implementation of President Barack Obama's signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Because of Obamacare, the nation narrowly avoided its first decline in output in three years (Mutikani, 4/30).

The Fiscal Times: Obamacare Boosted Health Care Spending -- And GDP
Health care spending grew at the fastest rate in three decades in the first quarter of the year, boosting GDP growth by 1.1 percentage points -- enough to lift the overall economy from contraction to modest 0.1 percent expansion. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) said Wednesday that health care spending grew by 9.9 percent -- the fastest surge since the third quarter of 1980, when spending on health care shot up by 10 percent. In a note accompanying the data release, the BEA said the jump reflected “additional spending associated with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.” The agency noted, though, that because the preliminary data used in preparing the GDP report did not reflect the effects of Obamacare, its estimates of health care spending were based on Medicaid benefits, enrollment data from the new insurance exchanges and other information. That means the data could be heavily revised in the next two months (Ehley, 4/30).

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