In the June issue of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons monthly magazine, several facts regarding health care were reviewed.
* The fact that the national expenditure per capita for health care in 2005 was almost 20 times higher than the level in 1970, while the consumer price index rose only 5 times during that same interval.
* Increases in health care spending are outpacing the growth of the United States domestic product (GDP) per person. Spending for health care is growing at an average annual rate of 8.8%, but the GDP is increasing at 6.1%.
* Health care spending is consuming an increasing proportion of the United States GDP. Currently, health care spending accounts for 17% of the GDP and that is projected to increase to 20% by 2015. Most other industrial nations spend about 6% of their GDP on health care. Spending on government health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid is growing at an unsustainable rate. Thus, adding a new government plan will greatly challenge our system.
* The number of health care administrators is far out pacing the number of health care providers. In the past 10 years the annual rate of growth of administrative staff in health care settings exceeded that of nurses and physicians by more than 2000%.