Healthcare Costs Are Skyrocketing Along with the Deficit

Healthcare Costs Are Skyrocketing Along with the Deficit

Forty percent of family financial gains over the past 10 years were wiped out by increasing healthcare costs-money that would have been spent elsewhere, according to a report in September’s issue of Health Affairs, Health Affairs

Median income for a typical family of four went from $76,000 in 1999 to $99,000 in 2009.

That increase should mean the average family in 2009 had $545 more to spend each month than it did in 1999, but after paying for healthcare and other taxes, that prototypical family had just $95 extra each month.

The amount that the nation as a whole spent on healthcare nearly doubled from 1999 to 2009, from $1.3 trillion to $2.5 trillion, and 2009 marked the largest one-year jump in health spending as a percentage of the gross domestic product, the authors said.

In addition, taxes devoted to healthcare — for Medicare, Medicaid, the military health system, and the Department of Veterans Affairs — increased from $345 to $440 from 1999 to 2009, the researchers wrote. They added that the tax hike is “misleadingly modest” because actual growth in government spending on healthcare was much larger: 140% at the federal level and 76% at the state level. The authors said Bush-era tax cuts caused the government to collect only $6 for every $10 it spent during that 10-year time frame.

Their analysis reveals that during the past decade, growth in healthcare spending sharply reduced the disposable income of Americans while increasing the federal deficit.

Increases in healthcare costs have, in part, also led to millions of people being uninsured and suffering the adverse health consequences associated with having no healthcare coverage.

Most economic reports have shown that it’s healthcare costs that are compromising America’s future, leaving little money left to spend on important projects like alternative energy, research and education. As other developed countries have already discovered, a single payer system may be the best way to go.


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