The Commerce Department reports that consumer spending rose by $20.4 billion in February at an annualized rate adjusted for inflation, with $13 billion of that being spent on health care services spurred by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
“There will be a one-time bump in health spending,” Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told Bloomberg News. “There’s some new money coming into the system from the government, and we may also see people shifting money away from other goods into health care as they get better access to services.”
According to Commerce Department data, the share of consumer budgets targeted for medical care rose to 17.1 percent in February from 16.9 percent in December.
The Commerce data are still preliminary, and final figures won't be tabulated until the department's first-quarter report comes out in June.
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