Reproduced from Kaiser Family Foundation; Chart: Axios Visuals

Voters care a lot about drug prices, but they’re not the main reason the U.S. spends so much on health care.

The big picture: The U.S. spends twice as much per person as other wealthy nations, according to a new Peterson-Kaiser Tracker analysis — and hospitals and outpatient care are the primary culprits.

By the numbers: The U.S. spent $10,637 per capita on health care in 2018. Comparable countries spent $5,527.

  • The overwhelming majority of the difference — 76% of it — came from spending on inpatient and outpatient care — not drugs, which get more attention but represent just 10% of the difference.

Why it matters: Cutting hospital spending is hard to do without causing real pain, and that has made it politically risky, as well.

  • A public option, like that proposed by Joe Biden, would put pressure on hospital prices. The intensity of that pressure would depend on the plan’s payment level and how many people it covers, which would affect its purchasing power.
  • A single-payer health plan would have even more leverage, though universal coverage — not price controls — is usually its supporters’ primary focus.
  • The hospital industry led the lobbying effort that killed a public option in the Affordable Care Act, and spent millions in the Democratic primaries this year advertising against Medicare for All.

What we're watching: President Trump has set out new price transparency rules for hospitals, though its likely impact on costs is unclear and the industry has challenged it in court.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

24 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden is highest-spending political candidate on TV ads

Joe Biden. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

After spending an additional $45.2 million on political ads this week, former Vice President Joe Biden has become the highest-spending political candidate on TV ads ever, according to data from Advertising Analytics.

By the numbers: In total, the Biden campaign has spent $582.7 million on TV ads between 2019 and 2020, officially surpassing Michael Bloomberg's record spend of roughly $582 million. Biden's spend includes his primary and general election advertising.

Halloween and COVID-19: What you need to know

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Celebrating Halloween and Día de los Muertos will be difficult and more isolated this year, but can still be done while minimizing harm to others.

Why it matters: Traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating, indoor parties, haunted houses, crowded cemeteries and communal candy bowls are all considered high-risk activities by the CDC.

Updated 27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations.
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19U.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for 2nd straight day
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.