The United States continues to spend a greater percentage of its wealth on health care than any other industrialized nation, but a smaller overall increase in 2011 spending was in notable contrast to historical trends. The 3.9% rise was on pace with the growth rate in the economy as a whole and with inflation. Whether this signals a change in the cost trend line or is simply a result of lowered spending during the recession is hard to know. With sweeping changes to the health care system around the corner, these latest figures may indicate a more favorable climate for the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.
Relying on the latest data available, this report - part of CHCF's California Health Care almanac, details how much is spent on health care in the US; which services are purchased; and what proportions are financed by households, government, and business.