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Latest National Numbers On Rising Health Costs: $2.5 Trillion, $8,100 Per Person

This article is more than 11 years old.

As our own Massachusetts powers-that-be discuss health care costs, some of the latest inexorably rising national numbers have just come in. The National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation reports in "Understanding U.S. Health Care Spending" that annual American health care spending hit $8,100 per man, woman and child in 2009, for a total 2.5 trillion dollars.

The foundation did a lovely job of summing up its key points below, I'll just add two elements that struck me: The obesity epidemic is pushing the rising costs up ever faster, and the trouble lies more in higher prices than in people using more health care. Yes, indeed, if the players at the health cost trend hearings this week can eventually figure a way out of the health cost conundrum, there will surely once again be a national market for the state solution.

This program aired on June 27, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

Carey Goldberg Twitter Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.



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