Cost-Benefit Analysis

National health spending reached $4.5 trillion in 2022, or $13,493 per person. Spending for services provided at freestanding nursing homes and continuing care retirement communities, which represented 4% of overall spending, increased by 5.6% in 2022, to $191.3 billion, after reporting a 7.8% dip in spending in 2021.

The U.S. government spent more on health care last year than the governments of Germany, the U.K., Italy, Spain, Austria, and France combined spent to provide universal health care coverage to the whole of their population (335 million in total), which is comparable in size to the U.S. population of 331 million.

Taxpayers spent at least $1.8 trillion in federal and state health care expenditures in 2022. This would be 41% of the $4.5 trillion in health care spending in the U.S., according to the annual report released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

McKnight’s had a great summary of the the National Vital Statistics Report published on Dec. 15.  Prior to Covid, death rates declined for adults 65 and older from 2000 through 2019. In 2019, the top six causes of death in people over the age of 65 were chronic diseases.

In the future, death rates will take into account those from COVID-19, as it was the third leading cause of death in older adults in 2020 and 2021.

Even families with financial resources struggle to find quality care, highlighting the systemic challenges embedded in the current structure. As America’s population of seniors grows, affordable long-term care is increasingly hard to find. Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies estimates that 70% of adults will need long-term care services. Time to make the smart decisions with our money to provide better care now.