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Poor people spend more of their income on health care

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

People with lower incomes spend more of their money on health care, although wealthy people spend more in dollar amounts, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Why it matters: The cost of health care is growing more prominent as a social and political issue, and it hits low-income people hardest. Democrats differ on how far left they want to go, but Medicare for All is partially about redistributing these costs.

Between the lines: Like most other consumer goods, the price of health care services or employer-based insurance doesn't usually vary based on a person's income, although more government assistance is available to the poor.

  • That means that a monthly premium is a much larger percentage of someone's income who is making $25,000 than it is for someone making $250,000.

Wealthier people spend more dollar-wise on health care; while the bottom 10% of earners spends, on average, $2,119 a year on health care, the top 10% spends an average of $8,720.

  • Low-income people often have to forgo health care in order to pay for other necessities, like rent or food.

Go deeper: How health insurance contributes to income inequality