Healthcare costs

December 31, 2012

From Kim Ruhl, a really striking chart of health care spending per person in the US, UK, Germany, France, and Japan — by age. The link comes from Dan Munro, who got it from Mary Meeker. I don’t know the underlying data, so can only take it at face value. Lots of others have piled on, including some who suggest the chart is misleading; see the comments to Austin Frakt’s post. I’d start here (esp Fig 1) and here.

However that turns out, the consensus is that health care costs are far and away the biggest fiscal issue facing the country.  Unless I missed something, there’s been no mention of that during the recent drama surrounding the fiscal cliff. Andy Borowitz reminds us of the good news: the Senate has had to work over the weekend.

Happy New Year to all.

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One Response to “Healthcare costs”

  1. Lawrence White Says:

    After a quick look at the comments and at the original Hagist-Kotlikoff paper, it looks like the data that underlie the chart are for government healthcare spending only. So, the age-related increase for the U.S. in the chart is surely steeper than would be the case if all medical spending were included (since Medicare kicks in for most individual at age 65). Still, what is striking is the differences in absolute amounts spent per person across countries from age 65 onward.

    Larry White


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