Federal healthcare spending will reach $4.6 trillion by 2020, report finds

An aging nation will help push healthcare outlays past the $4.6 trillion mark by 2020, a new report finds.

Robust growth in Medicare enrollment and expanded Medicaid coverage will help drive the 70% increase over current spending levels, federal actuaries noted in an annual report. Health costs are expected to consume $2.7 trillion this year.

The federal and state portion of healthcare spending will jump from 45% today to 49% by 2020, the government’s number crunchers predict. The report also estimates that the new health reform law will have a minimal effect on the increase.