Slow Economic Growth Directly Tied to Health Care Mess
The American economy grows at an anemic rate because our hospital bills grow at an alarming rate.
Last year, the U.S. economy expanded by under two percent. Over the last seven decades, gross domestic product (GDP) in the U.S. averaged 3.4 percent growth. In the 21st century, annual GDP growth met or exceeded that average just once. The president, not without reason, celebrated the2.6 growth ratefor 2017’s second quarter. Economists once regarded the figure we welcome now as a sign of underperformance. The sclerotic new normal directly relates to the new normal of one in five dollars directed toward health care.
Last year, for the first time, Americansspentmore than $10,000 per person annually on health care. That we don’t direct that massive amount on video games or popsicles or ringtones speaks well of us. Our health is a serious matter, and should command a serious amount of money. But we damage the health of the economy when any one area drains such a massive portion of our personal and public budgets.
The differences between what we spend and what everyone else spends drops jaws in both relative terms as well as absolute terms.