Health Spending Isn’t Much of A Choice

AEI’s Andrew Biggs posts this chart comparing growth in health spending for pets and humans.

Notably, the data doesn’t control for a growth in the number of pets, but the trend is fairly clear: even for a demographic that is largely uninsured (though pet insurance exists), health care costs are still rising. This belies assertions like those made in the Wall Street Journal that exposing the individual more directly to health care costs would make consumers more savvy, and thus reduce overall spending. It was never a compelling argument in the first place — indeed, no amount of savvy will keep someone from receiving treatment for a heart attack — but hopefully this will help put it to rest.

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