Opinion: The cost curve on health care – it’s bending

The biggest long-term concern with the American health care system is cost. The affordability of premiums, access to care and the impact of Medicare and Medicaid on state and federal budgets are all linked to the ever-rising costs of health care. Unless we bend the cost curve, the nation’s health care system will become increasingly unsustainable.

The good news is that, even though costs and spending continue to increase, we have started to see a slowdown.
Over the years, the news on this front has been consistently bad. For 31 of the last 40 years, health care has grown significantly faster than the U.S. economy. Between 1960 and 2012, costs more than tripled, from 5.2 percent of gross domestic product to 17.9 percent. That means almost 18 cents of every dollar is spent on health care.
To put these increases in perspective, if the cost of commodities had gone up at the same rate as health care since 1945, a dozen eggs would cost $55, a gallon of milk would be $40 and a dozen oranges would cost $134, according to the Institute of Medicine. To read the full article click here.
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