Health Care Spending Was Nearly Flat Last Year

Check out the good news today:

Health care spending as a share of GDP declined in 2017. That’s only the second time this has happened in recent history, and it continues a trend of nearly zero growth since 2009. Per capita spending was up, but only slightly:

That’s a 1.1 percent increase over 2016—not quite flat, but pretty close.

We still spend way more on health care than any other country, but our growth rate has been flattening for many years. Once again, this is evidence that the spending slowdown which started in the mid-aughts wasn’t an anomaly. The enormous spike that began in the early 80s was. We’re now getting back to the 1950-1980 normal, and there’s every reason to think that’s going to last for a while.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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