5% of Americans Made Up 50% of U.S. Health Care Spending – Jordan Weissmann – Business – The Atlantic

The figure is shocking but believable. I wonder if this is true in other countries. Sick people are not evenly distributed for sure in any society.

When it comes to America’s spiraling health care costs, the country’s problems begin with the 5%. In 2008 and 2009, 5% of Americans were responsible for nearly half of the country’s medical spending.

The figures are from a new study by the Department of Health and Human Services, which examined how different U.S. demographics contributed to medical costs. It looked at the $1.26 trillion spent by civilian, non-institutionalized Americans each year on health care.

The top 5% of spenders paid an annual average of $35,829 in doctors’ bills. By comparison, the bottom half paid an average $232 and made up about 3% of total costs.

Aside from the fact that such a tiny fraction of the country was responsible for so much of our expenses, it also found that high spenders often repeated from year to year. Those chronically ill patients skewed white and old and were twice as likely to be on public health care as the general population.

via 5% of Americans Made Up 50% of U.S. Health Care Spending – Jordan Weissmann – Business – The Atlantic.

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