A recent report from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported that health care spending in Minnesota grew by 3.8 percent in 2009, the slowest growth rate since 1997. The report found that Minnesota continued to spend less on health care per person in 2009 than the nation as a whole ($6,913 vs. $7,590). Also, according to the report, health care spending in Minnesota accounted for 14.1 percent of the overall economy. Nationally, that figure is 16.5 percent. This meant that Minnesota could spend over $5 billion of its wealth on private sector job creation and other growth strategies – instead of health care – which will give Minnesota companies a completive advantage over other firms in the United States.
Another interesting result of these findings is the potential impact on Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) plan for Medicare. Rep. Ryan proposes that each Medicare beneficiary would receive a “premium support” amount which beneficiaries would use to go to the market and buy insurance. If this amount is the same nationally, Minnesota seniors will be able to buy excellent plans with broad benefits while seniors in states like Texas or Florida will need to buy plans with minimal benefits and high deductibles.
For the past 5 to 10 years, Minnesota providers and government have made investments in many of the key cost control features of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including: integrated provider systems, substantial investments in HIT, and the broad use of comparative effective research through the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement.
This new data from the MDH provides hope that as the ACA becomes more fully implemented, the rate of health care inflation will subside – not only in Minnesota, but nationally as well.