Oct 12, 2017

America is spending more on doctors and less on hospitals

Health care spending continues to grow faster than the rest of the U.S. economy, albeit at a slower rate than in past years, according to the latest data from Altarum's Center for Sustainable Health Spending. The Affordable Care Act's expansion of insurance, along with the continued rise of deductibles, has pushed more patients (and dollars) into outpatient settings and doctors' offices instead of hospitals.

Data: Altarum's Center for Sustainable Health Spending; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Two more trends: Prescription drug spending also is slowing down, but people are still feeling the sting at the pharmacy counter. The area where spending has grown the fastest in the past year, other than health insurance administration: home health.

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The health care debate we ought to be having

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Scott Eisen/Getty Images and Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Americans worry a lot about how to get and pay for good health care, but the 2020 presidential candidates are barely talking about what's at the root of these problems: Almost every incentive in the U.S. health care system is broken.

Why it matters: President Trump and most of the Democratic field are minimizing the hard conversations with voters about why health care eats up so much of each paycheck and what it would really take to change things.

Medicare for All's missing mental health discussion

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

America's mental health care system is in dire need of an overhaul, but the any real specifics are largely missing from the 2020 debate about health care.

Why it matters: Suicide and drug overdose rates continue to rise, and the U.S. faces a shortage of mental health providers and a lack of access to treatment.

Go deeperArrowJan 8, 2020

Government funding bill deal will repeal key ACA taxes

Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Congress is expected to soon announce a deal to repeal the Affordable Care Act's health insurance, medical device and "Cadillac" employer health plan taxes — and to raise the smoking age to 21, according to a senior House Democratic aide familiar with talks.

Why it matters: The decision is a colossal win for the health care industry.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 16, 2019