Healthcare costs drive entire U.S. deficit

The U.S. healthcare system's lopsided delivery costs compared to the rest of the world is the primary driver behind the nation's long-term budget deficits, the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) has concluded.

"If the U.S. can get healthcare costs under control, our budget deficits will not rise uncontrollably in the future. But if we fail to contain health care costs, then it will be almost impossible to prevent exploding future budget deficits," the CEPR declared Thursday in a statement.

Additionally, the CEPR has projected that without the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in place, debt as a percentage of gross domestic product will be roughly three times higher by 2090. The CEPR has created a budget calculator to compare the U.S. healthcare spending against the rest of the world and long-term deficit trending.

The Obama Administration has touted the ACA's cost savings, noting that it would save as much as $143 billion between 2010 and 2019. "The Affordable Care Act will reduce the deficit: its costs are more than fully paid for," the White House said in a blog post.

For more information:
- read the CEPR statement
- use the CEPR calculator
- read the White House blog post