Health Care Spending Taking More of Our Income

Spending on health care only grew by 4 percent in 2009. Is that good news? No. As Ezra Klein points out, what counts is health care relative to GDP. Although growth in health-care spending was modest, growth in GDP was negative. Klein’s graph shows that, in terms of health care taking more of our income, 2009 was one of the worst years.

According to the CMS actuaries’ latest report (available through Health Affairs; subscription required), health care’s share of the economy rose by “the largest one-year increase in the history of the national health accounts,” from 16.6% to 17.6% of GDP.

Comments (6)

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  1. Bruce says:

    This reaffirms that health care is a growth industry — even in a recession.

  2. Stephen C. says:

    Obama Care is going to make this even worse.

  3. Bret says:

    No surprise here to me. Health care spending is substantially immune from the business cycle. At least its dips and rises are far more ameliorated.

  4. Neil H. says:

    The so-called “worst” years all seem to be recession years.

  5. Joe S. says:

    I think the effects of recession are distorting this chart.

  6. Brian Williams. says:

    Is this the same Ezra Klein who thinks the Constitution is too hard to understand because it is “over 100 years old?”