The Rising Cost Of Health Care – Midweek Infographic

The Supreme Court came down with a landmark decision today by upholding President Obama’s health care law. It was ruled by a 5-4 majority that the penalty for not having insurance is considered a tax and therefore constitutional. How this will affect individuals, businesses and overall economic growth remains to be seen, but changes lay ahead.

Whether you’re a Republican, Democrat or Independent, we can all agree that the cost of health care is out of control and the rate of increase needs to be slowed down. At its current rate of growth, none of us will be able to afford health care in the future. As our wages grow at a modest amount, health cost grow with a fury, rapidly outpacing our incomes.

The rising costs are effectively represented with today’s infographic:

Health care costs infographic

The most astonishing growth rate to me is the fact that health care costs have outpaced the growth of our wages by 150% since 1999.  Again, there’s no way that we can continue at this rate without health care becoming unattainable as we get older.

READERS: Do you feel that health care costs are rising too quickly?

How do you feel about today’s Supreme Court decision?


  1. I think it is so sad that 60% of Americans who filed bankruptcy did so due to medical costs. Our debt is related to medical bills as our daughter’s birth wasn’t covered because she had to be delivered via c-section. It was upsetting because I didn’t *want* to have a c-section! It’s not like I was trying to have her early so I didn’t gain weight, or because I didn’t want to push! I had to have one because she had to be delivered ASAP and they couldn’t risk inducing me. It is so frustrating to know that you are going to have a huge bill and that you did nothing wrong and you even have “good” insurance.

    • I didn’t know that c-sections were not covered. That doesn’t seem fair at all that you are now financially responsible for something you had no say in.

      I’m a pretty healthy person that sees the doc once every two years at the most. This year, I made an appointment for a preventative procedure. For a 30 minute test, the total cost was $1,800 and I’m responsible for $1,100 of that.

      • Well, I don’t want to get into the exact costs of our insurance, but I will elaborate and say that c-sections are “covered” but that it’s still a lot more expensive. It’s way more complicated than this, but basically I had to pay up to an amount and then 80% was covered after that. It ended up being thousands of dollars more than if I could have had her without surgery. I know there are a lot of women who probably choose to have a c-section, but I was devastated. When I realized I would have to pay a ton more as well, it was not a happy day over here. We also had to have 7 ultrasounds with my daughter, and the usual fully-covered amount is 2, so we had to pay a ton there as well as at the Children’s Hospital after she was born for her care. Because of our situation, I don’t even know how to feel about the new insurance changes that are to come. Thankfully, my daughter’s situation has corrected itself and we have a perfect, healthy baby girl (who will be 1 tomorrow!) so I need to stop complaining, right?

        • That’s great Michelle – I hope she had a wonderful birthday. As you said, her health and happiness are the most important aspects.

          It’s a shame that it cost so much though. I had a similar plan where I had to pay after 80% was covered. The amount can quickly get out of hand with today’s high rates. I’ve read that Obama’s plan eliminates the cap, but I’m sure the insurance companies will make up for extra costs somehow.

    • Sorry to hear that. That’s why I think we should have basic public health care here in the US. The cost is just staggering and it seems like we can tackle it better as a group.

      • I agree that many aspects of our current health care situation need to be addressed. However, I think the government is taking the wrong steps. The Obama administration insisted over and over again that the bill would not increase taxes only to have the Supreme Court rule in favor of the law on the basis that is a tax. I find that very disturbing.

  2. I’m actually found the ruling shocking.

    You are right; the costs are out of control. That is certainly something we all can agree on.

    • What I find scary, is the fact the Supreme Court paved the way for the government to tax us on ANYTHING. As long as it’s a tax, it’s constitutional apparently. That’s a scary thing to think about.

  3. Do you think that, just as we had a housing bubble with housing cost rising faster than income, we have a health care bubble on our hands?

    If so, how will it look when the bubble pops?

    • Great question William. Do I foresee a health care bubble? Yes and No.

      From a supply and demand perspective, the demand for health care is essentially inelastic with no change based on price. Health care will always be needed regardless of what the cost is. However; when concentrating on debt, yes I can see a bubble. Rising health care costs will only result in more personal bankruptcies, all of which negatively affect our economy.

      The next bubble may be in the area of student loans. The pricing impact on demand is much greater and could collapse if prices continue upward. High prices combined with post-graduate unemployment and student loans will not produce anything positive.

      • I hear you about the student loan thing. Check this chart out. It’s a little complex, but you can clearly see how participation by younger people (including graduates) is declining.


        Other scary things there, too, but they don’t apply to this topic. 🙂

        • It’s extremely important to reverse this trend. I’m not sure what it will take though. Maybe it will take parents eliminating this “mentality” attitude at a young age.

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