QUICK READ: Spending too much leisure time in front of a TV or computer screen appears to dramatically increase the risk for heart disease and premature death from any cause, perhaps regardless of how much exercise one gets, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Obesity is the leading cause of death in America, costing the health care system $1.72 trillion and it’s getting worse.


-The US spends the most of any country in the world on healthcare in terms of percent of GDP, sitting around 18% as of the most recent data.

-After accounting for inflation, healthcare expenditures increased by $933.5 billion between 1996 and 2013.

– 50% of the increase was simply due to higher prices.

-Different chronic diseases had different patterns of price increases. The biggest increase was seen in diabetes care driven largely by rising costs of pharmaceuticals.

-The unhealthiest states were all heavy Republican states  with Mississippi at the bottom of the rankings, followed by Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, and West Virginia. Mississippi and Louisiana struggle, particularly with high rates of smoking, obesity, and poverty among kids.

KEY TAKEAWAY: Drug prices, in 2014, were less than 10% of every health care dollar spent.  While politicians and media writers, who only want to tap into popular subjects, continue to fan the flames of runaway drug pricing the real threats to healthcare spending are an aging population and a public that refuses to take responsibility for their own health.

screenshot_219A survey finds that a majority of Americans have tried to find information about health care prices before getting care, including 21 percent who have compared prices across multiple providers. Most of those who have compared prices say they saved money. We also found that the majority of Americans do not believe higher-priced care is necessarily of better quality. And most say insurance companies should be required to make public how much they pay doctors for medical services.