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Expand chart
Data: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Workers who get health care coverage through their jobs are bearing the brunt of rising health care costs. And that’s mainly because health care prices keep going up, not because we’re using more health care services.

The big picture: Per-person spending is growing faster for private insurance than it is for Medicare or Medicaid, according to a new analysis from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute.

  • A separate analysis from the Health Care Cost Institute found that the per-person cost of employer-based insurance reached an all-time high in 2017, topping out at $5,641.

By the numbers: Costs are rising for people who get coverage through their employers, but those people aren’t using more health care services, according to HCCI, which collects its data directly from insurance claims.

  • Total utilization was up just 0.5% from 2016 to 2017, and was slightly down over a 5-year period.
  • In private insurance, the biggest spending growth over the past decade came from nursing and home health, followed by hospitals, according to the Commonwealth study.
  • Prescription drugs were the biggest cost driver in Medicare. In Medicaid, it was administrative costs and doctors.

The bottom line: These 2 reports cement a lot of conventional wisdom about the health care system: Prices, not utilization, are driving up spending; and public programs control their costs more tightly than private plans, overall.

Go deeper: The trends shaping health care in 2019

Go deeper

Updated 53 mins ago - World

Australia joins U.S. in diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Australia is joining the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in protest of human rights abuses committed by China's government, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed Wednesday.

Driving the news: After the Biden administration's announcement that U.S. officials won't attend the Games due to the ongoing genocide of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region of China, Morrison said at a Sydney briefing that Australia would follow suit as "it's the right thing to do."

Progressives to file resolution to strip Boebert's committee seats

Rep. Lauren Boebert walking through the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House progressives are planning to introduce a resolution on Wednesday to strip Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) of her committee assignments, according to a Democratic aide familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The move, which was first reported by the Washington Post, comes as progressives — anxious to see the right-wing firebrand face retribution for her recent comments — have grown frustrated by Democratic leadership's inaction on the issue.

Roger Stone won't cooperate with Jan. 6 panel

Longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone speaking in front of the Supreme Court on Jan. 5 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone won't cooperate with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and will invoke the Fifth Amendment right not to testify, his attorney said Tuesday evening.

Why it matters: The announcement, first reported by ABC News, came hours after former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said he wouldn't cooperate with the probe.