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.

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