2.8 Trillion. Not million, not billion, but trillion. The United States spends an average of 2.8 trillion dollars on healthcare per year. That breaks down to about $8,915 spent on healthcare per person. The top 3 spenders are hospital care (882.3 billion), physician and clinical services (565 billion), and prescription drugs (263.3 billion).
If you need to visualize that, here’s a graphic for healthcare spending from 1960-2012.
Although our spending has gone down over the past few years, healthcare in our country still isn’t worth the trillions of dollars we spend. We spend trillions of dollars to be the only developed country without paid sick leave or paid maternity leave, and to be the developed country with the highest infant mortality rate. Although for things such as medical research and advanced treatment for specialized cancers, the United States is second to none, when it comes to generalized care, we are seriously lacking.
(Obama mentioned that in his State of the Union as something he wants to take initiative on. If you haven’t watched the SOTU, you can watch it here.)
With all of that being said, if you ever mistakenly thought that healthcare and the national debt didn’t correlate, think about the 2.8 trillion dollars we spend per year next time you go to the doctor’s office, or go through the McDonald’s Drive-Thru. Trust me, it adds up (to 18 trillion).