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Measuring and Modeling Health Care Costs$
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Ana Aizcorbe, Colin Baker, Ernst R. Berndt, and David M. Cutler

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226530857

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226530994.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 14 October 2019

The Distribution of Public Spending for Health Care in the United States on the Eve of Health Reform

The Distribution of Public Spending for Health Care in the United States on the Eve of Health Reform

Chapter:
(p.459) 14 The Distribution of Public Spending for Health Care in the United States on the Eve of Health Reform
Source:
Measuring and Modeling Health Care Costs
Author(s):

Didem Bernard

Thomas Selden

Yuriy Pylypchuk

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226530994.003.0015

US health care spending in 2012 totaled $2.8 trillion or 17.2 percent of gross domestic product. Given the magnitude of health care spending, the large public sector role in health care, and the reforms being implemented under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), we believe it useful to examine several basic questions: What was the public share of national spending on the eve of reform? How has the public share evolved over time? And how are the benefits of public spending on health care distributed within the population by age, poverty level, insurance coverage, health status, and ACA-relevant subgroups? The questions we pose, while basic, cannot be answered with commonly-available statistics due to the sheer complexity of health care financing in the U.S. The objective of this paper is to provide answers by combining aggregate measures from the National Health Expenditure Accounts with micro-data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.

Keywords:   medical expenditures, public spending on health care, health care costs, health financing, benefit incidence analysis

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