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Stanford Medicine

Health Costs, Health Policy

U.S. health-care costs rising faster than abroad

This country’s health-care spending continues to grow at a fast clip, according to a recent report from Kaiser Family Foundation. Healthwatch reports today:

U.S. healthcare spending per person increased by 60 percent between 2000 and 2008, according to the analysis of [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] data, to a record $7,538 – almost double the OECD average. Six other countries had equal or higher average annual growth rates over that period, but the U.S. is still far ahead of other countries because of its higher starting point.

The trend holds true for healthcare spending as a share of the economy. Between 1980 and 2008, U.S. healthcare spending increased from 9 percent of GDP to 16 percent. The next largest spender as a share of the economy is France, at 11.2 percent.

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