Saturday, December 6, 2014

Reality Check: Where the Nation’s Health Care Dollars Went in 2013

In 2013, the U.S. spent $2.9 trillion on health care, 17.4% of GDP. This was a 3.4% increase over 2012, the slowest growth in spending in a decade, probably the combined effects of the recession, consumers forgoing care because of high costs, and ObamaCare regulations.

Leading costs in 2013, in descending order, were:

1. Hospital care, 32%

2. Physicians and clinics, 20%

3. Other (personal, public health, medications), 14%

4. Prescriptions, 9%

5. Dental and other professionals, 7%

6. Government administration and health insurance, 7%

7. Investment (research, buildings, equipment), 6%

8. Nursing homes, retirement facilities, community clinics), 5%

Other pertinent facts included:

1. Medicare spending, $583 billion, up 3.4%, 20% of all health care spending.

2. Medicaid spending, $449 billion, up 6.1%, 15% of all health care spending.

3. 190 million Americans covered by private plans, 60% of all health care spending

4. Out-of-pocket spending, 12.5% of all spending.


The U.S. spends nearly one-third of health care dollars on hospitals and physicians (32%) and over one-third on Medicare and Medicaid (35%). Medicare and Medicaid are the fastest growing and biggest contributors to the national debt, now over $18 trillion.

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