General Information

Hello everyone, and sorry again for the sporadic posting. As a healthy portion of you surely know, I started a new job yesterday and I’m still learning the ropes. Once I feel a bit more comfortable with my schedule, you can expect more regular posting, if not less frequent. Who knows though.

That said, Kevin Drum this morning points us to the raw data on health spending in 2007, which offers another reason that despite Republican bleating, health care reform and economic reform are inextricably tied.

Public and private outlays for health care reached $2.2 trillion, or $7,421 per person in 2007, up 6.1 percent from 2006, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported.

The slower growth rate continues a trend that began in 2002. Health spending continued to eat up an increasing share of nation’s Gross Domestic Product, growing from 16 percent in 2006 to 16.2 percent in 2007. Medical spending growth still outpaces overall economic growth, which increased only 4.8 percent in 2007.

Now, as McClatchy notes in the above report, the rate of growth has slowed, but even still, a situation where medical spending outpaces GDP isn’t good at all — opportunity costs being what they are — and the CBO still projects that medical spending will comprise 25 percent of GDP in 2025.

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