Consumer Spending On Health Care Surged Since 1960s’s “Chart of the Day” notes that consumer spending’s share of the U.S. GDP is experiencing a surge as household purchases, including health care expenses, has grown as a proportion of the economy, climbing from 61 percent in the mid 1960s to 71 percent today. “Medical payments now account for about 16 percent of total consumer spending, more than food and clothing combined, which make up about 11 percent, or housing, which accounts for about 15 percent.” Health care costs have remained steady in 2010, increasing by just 3.9 percent , thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act. Over time, reform will further lower the rate of increase by investing in comparative effectiveness research and rewarding more efficient delivery of services.

Fatima Najiy