Peter Orszag of Citigroup describes the changes he sees in healthcare spending in the United States. According to Orszag, we are in the midst of a major structural change in which we are witnessing a stabilization in the rate of increase in health spending. Orszag believes that the stabilization in Medicare spending is a clear indicator of this trend. He argues that the stabilization is neither cyclical (i.e., a result of the business cycle) nor due to the economic downturn over the past five years, but that it is structural. Further, he believes that it is sustainable because there is evidence that we can find ways to constrain costs without harming quality and adversely affecting outcomes. He likens the healthcare system to an aircraft carrier that is finally turning around after having executed a long, slow turn.
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