The Rising Tide of Health Care Costs
Health Care

The Rising Tide of Health Care Costs

Alex Ivey/The Fiscal Times

We told you yesterday about new data from the Medicare actuaries showing health care spending in the U.S. hitting a record high last year, totaling $3.65 trillion overall, or more than $11,000 per person.

A separate, earlier report from the Commonwealth Fund provides some context for the data, charting the growth in the amount Americans have to pay for premiums and deductibles, relative to incomes.

“For middle-income people with employer insurance, the combined cost of premium contributions and deductibles amounted to 11.5 percent of income in 2018, up from 7.8 percent in 2008,” the report says.

Rick Newman of Yahoo Finance pointed out that health care costs have been outrunning wage increases, slowly but surely eating away at disposable income.

“Health care costs aren’t drowning the family budget overnight,” he wrote. “Instead, they’re creeping upward like a spillover that seems harmless until everything starts to get wet.”