New Data on Health Care Spending

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The implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has generated a lot of discussion about exactly what health care costs in America. The California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) has just released their Health Care Costs 101, 2014 Edition; which provides numerous details about the recent changes in American’s health care costs.

Key findings include:

  • The economy grew slightly faster than health spending, resulting in health care’s share of the economy remaining stable at 17.2%.
  • In 2010 the elderly population, 65 and over, accounted for one-third of health spending but made up just 13% of the population.
  • Average health care costs for females were 25% more than for males in 2010, primarily due to higher spending in the childbearing years and after age 85.
  • Prescription drug spending grew at its slowest pace on record, increasing less than half a percent in 2012, as generic drugs replaced blockbuster drugs that lost patent protection.
  • Medicare spending grew at a rate of 4.8%, slightly faster than the overall average, while private insurance spending (3.2%) stayed closer to the average.
  • Public health insurance accounted for 39% of health spending, while private health insurance accounted for 33%.
  • Health care spending consumed 42% of federal revenues and 6% of household income.

The complete CHCF report along with related resources can be found at: