For decades, rising health care costs have strained household, employer and government budgets. Rising costs reduce workers’ take-home pay and lead families to skimp on health care they need. What’s more, there is unjustified variation in prices and quality, disadvantaging some consumers over others. Finally, the evidence is overwhelming that we are not getting sufficient value for our money. Up to 30 percent of the health care we buy has little or no value.
A solid understanding of what drives spiraling health care costs is critical to selecting the right policy interventions and endorsing the best private-sector initiatives. Similarly, we must have a good understanding of where quality falls short in our system. And above all, we must bring a greater sense of urgency to this important consumer problem.
You can visit our What Drives Health Care Spending page or browse by cost driver or quality topic on the left of this page to learn more about the contribution of each to uneven health care value for consumers.