Money & Medicine investigates the dangers the nation faces from runaway health care spending as well as the dangers patients face from over-diagnosis and over-treatment. In addition to illuminating the waste and overtreatment that pervade our medical system, Money & Medicine explores promising ways to reduce health care expenditures and improve the overall quality of medical care.
The Affordable Care Act that the Supreme Court recently upheld extends health care coverage to over 30 million uninsured Americans but actually does very little to make health care affordable. Since 1970, health care spending has grown 9.8% annually, more than twice the rate of inflation. Medical costs now consume 17.3% of our gross domestic product. That’s $8,086 for every American or about twice as much per capita as most developed countries spend. Although we pay more for medical care than any other country, America currently ranks 19th in the world in preventable death, 26th in life expectancy, and 31st in infant mortality.