The United States spent an estimated $2.5 trillion on health care in 2009, which translated to per capita costs of $8,086—the highest in the world.
Reining in health care costs is a major priority for policymakers. Yet during the debate over health reform, no clear consensus emerged about how best to do it. For that reason, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains a broad variety of different provisions targeting costs.
Many provisions in the ACA aim to curb the rising cost of health care through greater competition among health plans, taxes on high-priced insurance coverage, measures to cut fraud and other approaches.
Yet, policy-makers and health policy experts disagree about how much savings these provisions will achieve.
This Health Policy Snapshot, published online in July 2011, outlines the different ways that the ACA seeks to contain health care costs.
Read more from RWJF's Health Policy Snapshot series.