What I’m about to show you is in my opinion an embarrassment to the economics profession and I wish more of my colleagues would express their strong disapproval.
… the facts are striking. Since 2010, when the [the Affordable Care Act] was passed, real health spending per capita — that is, total spending adjusted for overall inflation and population growth — has risen less than a third as rapidly as its long-term average. Real spending per Medicare recipient hasn’t risen at all; real spending per Medicaid beneficiary has actually fallen slightly.
He then goes on to consider a number of possible causes for this slowdown, but appears to give the lion’s share of the credit to ObamaCare. In fact his column is titled, “ObamaCare’s Secret Success.”
All of which is pointless speculation, because as the chart clearly shows, nothing happened to the rate of increase in health care spending in 2010 ― the year ObamaCare was passed.
Yes, the growth rate of health care spending that year was well below the historical average. But it was just as much below it in 2009, the year before the act was passed! Health care spending growth in 2010 was exactly the same as it was in 2009. It remained exactly the same in 2011. And again in 2012. Looking only at the numbers, we would have to conclude that nothing that happened in 2010 had any impact whatsoever on health care spending. Nothing Congress did; nothing the president did; nothing that anyone did that year seems to have mattered.