- Total health spending in the U.S. reached $2.1 trillion in 2007 – or $7,026 per capita.
- By 2016, total health spending is projected to rise to $4.2 trillion.
- Between 2005 – 2006, total health spending increased 6.7 percent, more than double the rate of the 2.9 percent increase in overall economic growth.
- Total health spending remained relatively constant at about 16 percent of gross domestic product from 2003 – 2006, but is projected to increase to 19.5 percent by 2017.
- Spending for home health care increased at a faster pace from 2005 – 2006 (9.9 percent) than any other category of health spending; however, its impact is limited because it accounts overall for only 2.5 percent of total health spending.
- Yearly prescription drug spending growth accelerated in 2006 to 8.5 percent from a low of 5.8 percent in 2005, in part because of full implementation of Medicare Part D.
- Between 2006 and 2007, premiums for health coverage offered by employers increased 6.1 percent, the fourth straight year of declines in the rate of premium growth, from a peak of 13.9 percent in 2003. Even so, this was more than twice the rate of growth in the Consumer Price Index.
- Of every dollar spent on health services in the U.S. in 2006, 46 cents came directly from government sources.
- Costs for program administration and the net cost of private health insurance were about 7 percent of total health spending in the U.S. in 2006 and grew 8.8 percent, a marked increase over the 3.6 percent rise in 2005.
This list (without the original endnotes) is from “A Reporter's Toolkit: Health Care Costs” (an Alliance for Health Reform Toolkit produced with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) and is reproduced here courtesy of the Alliance for Health Care. The entire toolkit can be found at http://www.allhealth.org/Publications/Cost_of_health_care/health_care_costs_toolkit.asp#keyfacts
On September 29, 2007, the LWV of Orange, Durham, and Chatham Counties together with the Clinical Lecture Series of the UNC School of Social Work hosted a forum, Health Care for Everyone: How Do We get There? As a result, eight of the attendees interested in working on health care reform formed a committee. The Health Care Reform Advocacy Committee (HCRAC) has held several meetings and developed a mission statement based on the LWVUS position on health care reform, and each member of the committee has been assigned specific tasks. For additional information about HCRAC's work please go to http://lwvodc.org and choose Health Care Reform on the side panel. The LWVNC has given their full support to HCRAC's work. The committee's goal is to establish the best ways and means to advocate for affordable health care reform for everyone in North Carolina.
Our mission is to support a universal health care system for North Carolina, which is based on the LWVUS position:
The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that a basic level of quality health care at an affordable cost should be available to all U.S. residents. Every U.S. resident should have access to a basic level of care that includes the prevention of disease, health promotion and education, primary care (including prenatal and reproductive health), acute care, long-term care, mental health care, dental, vision and hearing care. The League believes that under any system of health care reform, consumers/ patients should be permitted to purchase services or insurance coverage beyond the basic level. The League favors a national health insurance plan financed through general taxes in place of individual insurance premiums.
We need everyone's help if we are going to make a change in correcting many of the injustices in our current health care system. Contact Evelin Brinich at firstname.lastname@example.org to work on this issue.