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Artur Bergman / Flickr Creative Commons

Americans spent $3.36 trillion on health care in 2016, a 4.8% increase from 2015, according to the latest spending projections from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Although last year's growth rate in health care expenses was lower than the 5.8% increase in 2015, it was still more than double the broader U.S. inflation rate of 2.1%, according to the report from the agency's Office of the Actuary. That indicates health care costs have moderated broadly during the Obamacare years, but health care continues to eat up more of the U.S. economy. Read on for some of the other important stats from the report.

  • The growth rate of national health care expenses slowed somewhat last year because Medicaid didn't grow as fast. It had increased a lot more quickly in 2014 and 2015, when Obamacare's Medicaid expansion kicked in.
  • By 2025, health care expenses will consume about 19.9% of the country's GDP, up from 18.1% in 2016. That's actually a shade lower than the 20.1% federal actuaries predicted for 2025 last year.
  • The amount spent on health care will increase more rapidly over time as more people age into Medicare, when care is more expensive. Hospitals, doctors, drug companies, medical device firms and other players in the health care system also are expected to raise prices in the coming years due to "economywide price inflation."
  • More than 32% of the $3.36 trillion health care tab was spent on care in hospitals. Roughly 27% was spent on physicians and other providers, and 10% was spent on prescription drugs. (This shows that even though drug prices continue to ignite anger nationwide, a lot more money is spent on hospitals and doctors.)
  • Out-of-pocket spending grew more year over year in 2016 because of a "higher proportion of private health insurance enrollees being in high-deductible health plans."

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
2 hours ago - Sports

European soccer is at war

Liverpool celebrating its 2019 Champions League victory. Photo: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Europe's biggest soccer clubs have established The Super League, a new midweek tournament that would compete with — and threaten the very existence of — the Champions League.

Why it matters: This new league, set to start in 2023, "would bring about the most significant restructuring of elite European soccer since the 1950s, and could herald the largest transfer of wealth to a small set of teams in modern sports history," writes NYT's Tariq Panja.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

2021's expected earnings blowout begins

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Photo: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

First-quarter earnings so far have been very strong, outpacing even the rosy expectations from Wall Street and that's a trend that's expected to continue for all of 2021. S&P 500 companies are on pace for one of the best quarters of positive earnings surprises on record, according to FactSet.

Why it matters: The results show that not only has the earnings recession ended for U.S. companies, but firms are performing better than expected and the economy may be justifying all the hype.

3 hours ago - Science

NASA's Mars helicopter takes flight as first aircraft piloted on another planet

Ingenuity on the surface of Mars, filmed by NASA's Perseverance rover. Photo: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA successfully piloted the Ingenuity Mars helicopter for its first experimental flight on Monday, briefly hovering the aircraft as NASA's Perseverance rover collected data.

Why it matters: Ingenuity's short flight marks the first time a human-built aircraft has flown on a world other than Earth, opening the door to new means of exploring planets far from our own.