Survey predicts rising healthcare costs

A new survey of healthcare leaders released by PriceWaterhouseCoopers makes for somewhat sobering reading. The analysis projects that US healthcare spending will end up consuming 21 percent of gross domestic product, with almost all respondents (95 percent) expecting healthcare spending to rise and more than half (51 percent) expecting higher rates of increase than in the past.

Health leaders have some faith in the ability of consumers to change the system, with three-quarters saying the health system would improve if consumers were given prices and quality information. But only 38 percent believed hospitals were ready for this. There was apparently no desire to move to a tax-funded universal system, with 84 percent saying they favor a health system paid for with a combination of insurance, taxes and user fees, similar to what we have now. Given that we've just endured 5 years of double-digit premium inflation, this probably means continued struggles in dealing with the core issues of cost and access to insurance.

- read this release from PriceWaterhouseCoopers for all the details