USA Healthcare Costs Now 16% of GDP

U.S. Health Spending Estimates:

Health care spending growth in the United States slowed for the third consecutive year in 2005, increasing 6.9 percent compared to 7.2 percent growth in 2004 and 8.1 percent in 2003, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services (CMS) reported today.

The 6.9 percent growth in 2005 marks the slowest rate of growth in health spending since 1999, when growth was 6.2 percent. Health care spending reached almost $2.0 trillion in 2005, or $6,697 per person, up from $6,322 per person in 2004.

So the rate at which healthcare spending continues to increase is decreasing. That is better than increasing at an increasing rate. However, it is already a huge drag on the economy and the need is for the expenditures to actually decrease (not slow down the rate of increase) and for performance to improve. There are good things being done but much more is needed. Health care costs are a huge cost for companies.

Health Care Spending in the United States and OECD Countries

This growing gap between health spending in the U.S. and that of other developed countries may encourage policymakers to look more closely at what people in the U.S. are getting for their far higher and faster growing spending on health care.

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