2020 US Elections May Affect Health Care Spending

Global health care spending is expected to accelerate at 6.2% in 2020.

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 – The upcoming United States presidential election is expected to shape health care for 2020, said a new report by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Global health care spending is expected to increase in 2020 at 6.2 per cent, twice as fast as in 2019, but US health spending is projected to slow to 3.9 per cent in nominal terms in 2020, down from 4.4 per cent in 2019.

“In the US, public opinion is now leaning towards more, rather than less, state intervention in health care.

“During the election campaign Donald Trump will be under pressure to protect coverage. He will try to refocus the debate on cutting drug prices, where it is easier to gain popular support,” said EIU.

EIU director of industry operations Ana Nicholls said: “The health care sector will grow even faster in 2020, particularly in developing countries. Even so, health reforms in China and the debate over state health care in the US presidential election campaign means there could be major changes in store for the sector.”

“Pharmaceuticals will bear the brunt of cost-cutting, but most countries will still be trying to expand public health care systems.”

The report predicts health care growth to be fastest in the transition economies of the former Soviet bloc, and the Middle East and Africa, while Asia will see spending accelerate again.

“With global health spending set to accelerate, we expect it to reach US$8.7trn, or around 10.2 per cent of global GDP in 2020,” said the report.

“However, this spending will be very unevenly spread. The US alone will account for around 44 per cent of total health spending, while Asia and Western Europe will each account for over 20 per cent. That will leave less than 10 per cent of spending to be shared across the rest of the world.”

Regionally, in 2020, Asia & Australasia is expected to record a 5.7 per cent change of growth in health spending, right behind Middle East & Africa at 10 per cent.

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