My Two Cents

The Health Care Squeeze

Chris Farrell Sep 10, 2008

We all know that rising gasoline prices have put a crimp in household budgets, But the Economic Policy Institute has a nice item today comparing healthcare costs and energy costs.

Since 2000, spending on health insurance premiums actually grew faster than spending on energy; by the first half of 2008 American consumers were paying $370 billion more for insurance premiums than in 2000. Spending for energy is a relative laggard by comparison, increasing “only” $320 billion since 2000.

Rising energy prices constitute a real drain on family budgets. Rising prices for health care, however, are also eating away at other consumption possibilities, and we shouldn’t lose sight of this just because we’re not given weekly reminders when we pull up to the gas pump.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.