Stories

It only feels like we’re paying more for health care

Adapted from MedPAC, "Report to the Congress", March 2018; Note: CHIP was created in 1997, only included in 2016 share. Chart: Axios Visuals

Think you’re getting stuck with bigger bills for your routine medical costs, like copayments and deductibles? You might want to look at this chart, based on research from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. It shows that, back in 1976, our disco-dancing ancestors paid a way bigger share of own their health care costs than we do today.

Between the lines: If you’re wondering how that can be true, we’ve got some thoughts from Matthew Fiedler of the Brookings Institution, and the MedPAC report has some clues too. The basic answer is that health coverage has gotten more comprehensive than it was 40 years ago.