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Tom Lydon, ETF Trends (163 clicks)
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If you think what you are paying now for health care is through the roof, analysts are predicting that within the next decade, expenses are going to double, putting pressure on public payers’ backs and within investments and ETFs.

An annual federal report out this week finds health coverage could nearly double within the next decade. National health care spending is expected to jump this year at its fastest rate ever as baby boomers retire, and the economy gets weaker, reports Renita Jablonski for Marketplace. Economist Andrea Sisko says health spending’s share of the GDP has increased a full 1%. This is the largest jump since 1960.

Private health care spending is about to shrink 15%, with public payers doing much of the paying by 2016. Public programs such as Medicare and Medicaid have been undermined and losing resources already, and the jump in spending will continue to cheapen their purpose.

President Barack Obama pledged Tuesday night to cure Americans from what he called “the crushing cost of health costs,” saying the country could not afford to put health-care reform on hold, reports David Martin for CNN Money. Obama pointed to the increasing number of uninsured and rapidly rising health-care premiums, which he said was one reason small business closed their doors and corporations moved overseas.

Obama’s plan includes: preventive care, rooting out Medicare fraud and investing in electronic health records and new technology in an effort to reduce errors, bring down costs, ensure privacy and save lives. What it means for health care companies within these ETFs depends on how they adapt to the changing climate - will they be on board?

  • Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV): down 3% year-to-date; up 7.5% over three months.

Source: How Healthcare Shifts Could Affect ETFs