March 24, 2017

Health Care Costs Climb

From 1998 to 2008, consumer spending increased 38% in total health care costs – from an annual spending of $2,204 to $3,591, according to an August 2010 review [.pdf]. Not only has the price of health insurance increased from $1,134 to $2,080, or 45% more, but the costs of prescription drugs also rose from $289 to $468, or 38% more.

Additionally, this increase in prescription drug costs has been partially offset by the Medicare prescription drug benefit program passed in 2006, which decreased the percent of seniors’ income spent on drugs from 19% to 15%.


  1. Health care cost have definitely exploded. I think the rate of inflation over that same time is only 12-14%. However, it is important to remember that we are not comparing apples to apples here. Health care technology, cure rates, and medicine has improved greatly over that time. There are many problems with our current health care system but it is important to note that some of the cost increases are due to the improvements in the system as a whole. In 1940 healthcare expenses constituted a tiny fraction of todays expenditures, but there was no option to get an MRI, cardio-bypass surgery, or an EEG.

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