The U.S. spent $3.34 trillion on health care in 2016 — a 4.3% increase from 2015 and an amount that almost equals Germany's entire economy, according to new data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. That spending growth is slightly lower than what CMS initially predicted in February, and it's a lower growth rate than 2014 and 2015.

Yes, but: Even a slower 4.3% uptick in health care spending greatly outpaced the 2.8% growth of the broader U.S. economy. Health care continues to absorb a greater share of the overall economy, which eats into other areas like education and infrastructure.

Expand chart
Data: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Here are some of the other highlights of the national health spending data:

  • Total out-of-pocketing spending — which includes what Americans spent on deductibles, copays, coinsurance and uncovered services — increased 3.9% in 2016. That's the highest growth rate since 2007. More health care costs are falling on the shoulders of Americans, and it's a major reason why people are becoming even more upset with the system.
  • The amount Medicare spent on health care last year increased 3.6%, compared with 4.8% in 2015. CMS could not say how much, if any, of that lower growth rate could be attributed to models that pay for outcomes instead of volume.
  • The Affordable Care Act's expansion of health insurance coverage in the individual markets and Medicaid were major reasons why spending increased in 2014 and 2015. But insurance coverage remained mostly stable last year, hence why spending did not grow as much.

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
5 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Climate change goes mainstream in presidential debate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

The most notable part of Thursday’s presidential debate on climate change was the fact it was included as a topic and assumed as a fact.

The big picture: This is the first time in U.S. presidential history that climate change was a featured issue at a debate. It signals how the problem has become part of the fabric of our society. More extreme weather, like the wildfires ravaging Colorado, is pushing the topic to the front-burner.

Finally, a real debate

Photo: Morry Gash/AP

A more disciplined President Trump held back from the rowdy interruptions at tonight's debate in Nashville, while making some assertions so outlandish that Joe Biden chuckled and even closed his eyes. A Trump campaign adviser told Axios: "He finally listened." 

The result: A real debate.

Biden to Trump: "I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life"

Former VP Joe Biden pushed back Thursday against allegations from President Trump, saying he had never profited from foreign sources. "Nothing was unethical," Biden told debate moderator Kristen Welker about his son Hunter's work in Ukraine while he was vice president.

Why it matters: Earlier on Thursday, Hunter Biden's former business partner, Tony Bobulinski, released a statement saying Joe Biden's claims that he never discussed overseas business dealings with his son were "false."