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Medical cost increases U.S. 2007-2020

Recent estimates indicate that there has been a drop in the actual percentage increase of U.S. health care costs. For 2019, it is estimated that the yearly costs to treat patients has increased by 5.7 percent, the same as in 2018. However, it is forecast that this will increase to 6 percent by 2020. In general, the percentage increase in U.S. healthcare costs has been decreasing and is significantly lower than 2007 when healthcare costs increased by 11.9 percent. The costs of healthcare are intrinsically linked to a country’s healthcare system.

The U.S. healthcare system

In the wake of the U.S. presidential elections in 2020 the U.S. healthcare system has been heavily criticized. The U.S. health system is a hybrid system of public and private insurances and high out of pocket costs for consumers. The United States has some of the highest public and private spending on healthcare globally. Consumers themselves are also spending a significant amount on healthcare out-of-pocket. Yearly out-of-pocket health care payments have been increasing significantly in recent years.

The politicization of U.S. health care

Since 2014, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has mandated that most U.S. residents must be covered by some form of health insurance and has provided a marketplace for people to shop for affordable options. The share of U.S. Americans without health insurance has decreased over the last several years. However, health insurance policy is still a hotly debated topic in current politics. In a recent online poll, a majority of respondents indicated that they have a favorable opinion of the ACA. There is a fairly strong political split in opinions on health policy. Another recent survey shows that a majority of democrat respondents strongly disapproved of President Trump’s management of health care issues while a majority of Republican respondents approved of his management of health care.

Estimated annual percentage change in medical costs in the United States from 2007 to 2020*

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Release date



North America, United States

Survey time period

as of June 2019

Supplementary notes

* HRI adjusted its estimates for 2018 and 2019 down from those previously reported. Figure for 2020 is a forecast.

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Statistics on "Health expenditures in the U.S."

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