According to the Altarum Institute, health spending rose 4.9 percent in the twelve months through August 2014. In the twelve months to July, it rose 5.1 percent, 18 percent more than the 4.3 percent growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP):
The health spending share of GDP was 17.4% in July. This is up from 16.0% at the start of the recession in December 2007. This increase is partly attributable to slow GDP growth rather than high health spending growth, as the July 2014 health spending share of potential GDP (PGDP) was 16.7%.
Longer term, the data indicates that Obamacare has done little to health spending other than ramp it up to its pre-recession rate of growth. Year over year growth in health spending has consistently been over 4 percent since October 2013. From September 2012 through September 2013, it had been below 4 percent, bottoming out at about 2.8 percent in March 2013.
Obamacare supporters are excited that health spending is not growing by double digits. However, it is still growing faster than the rest of the economy. Those who believe that the U.S. suffers from a crisis in health spending should be just as concerned as they were before Obamacare.