Hospitals and Outpatient Care Are the Primary Drivers of Sky-high US Healthcare Costs

October 1, 2020

Although drug prices are at the forefront of many voters’ minds, they are not actually the main reason the U.S. spends so much on health care. In 2018, the U.S. spent $10,637 per capita on health care in 2018, almost twice that spent in other developed nations. Most of the disparity (76%) is due to spending on hospital and outpatient care, not drugs which only account for 10% of the difference. Hospitals strongly oppose any public health insurance option that would put downward pressure on their prices. They have already lobbied and spent millions to quash Medicare for All. It will be interesting to see what effect President Trump’s price transparency rules for hospitals will have. The industry has already challenged the proposal in court. Read more here.

(Source: Drew Altman, Kaiser Family Foundation, October 1, 2020)

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