America’s Exceptional Health Care Costs—We are Number 1

Brookings has an analysis of the impact of our uncontrolled health care costs:

By 2010 the U.S. health share was almost 7.2 percentage points of GDP (or 70 percent) higher than the health spending share in countries with comparable incomes. We can describe that estimate in a slightly different way: The United States spent about $7,500 per capita on health care compared to an average of $3,300 in other rich countries.

The article looks at income over the past 30 years including and omitting the cost of health benefits.  It notes that incomes have risen more than usual measures indicate when one includes the costs of health coverage for employees.

Medicynical Note:  The article notes that average income rose 35% in that time period while the cost of health benefits/capita rose 205% affecting the income increase when included in the calculation.  Of course we need a similar accounting of the increase in out of pocket medical expenditures to understand the full impact on disposable income.

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