Health Care Spending Was Nearly Flat Last Year

Check out the good news today:

Health care spending as a share of GDP declined in 2017. That’s only the second time this has happened in recent history, and it continues a trend of nearly zero growth since 2009. Per capita spending was up, but only slightly:

That’s a 1.1 percent increase over 2016—not quite flat, but pretty close.

We still spend way more on health care than any other country, but our growth rate has been flattening for many years. Once again, this is evidence that the spending slowdown which started in the mid-aughts wasn’t an anomaly. The enormous spike that began in the early 80s was. We’re now getting back to the 1950-1980 normal, and there’s every reason to think that’s going to last for a while.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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