Thursday, February 4, 2010
In 2009, health spending in America as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose from 16.2% to 17.3%, according to a new paper in Health Affairs. That's the largest one-year increase since such 1960, when such statistics began to be closely tracked. The percentage is still very much higher than that of any industrialized country.
Total health spending in the U.S. amounted $2.472 trillion last year (or, as WSJ's Jacob Goldstein notes, at a rate of $282 million a hour). Health-care prices rose by 3.2% in 2009, significantly above the overall inflation rate, while utiilization of health care rose by 1.5%.