Chart of the Day: Our Ballooning Healthcare Costs

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The chart on the right comes from the Kaiser Family Foundation, and it shows the growth in healthcare expenditures in five selected countries over the past 40 years. The United States, of course, has the highest spending, but it also has the highest growth rate. An accompanying table shows spending in 15 OECD countries, and in 1970, the U.S. spent 58% more than average. In 1990 we spent 86% more. In 2008 we spent 91% more.

There are individual countries that have had higher growth rates than us, but all of them started from a much lower base. And even at that, nobody beats us by much. Even though our spending is already the highest in the world, our growth rate is still one of the highest too. No matter how much we pay our doctors, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and insurance carriers — and we pay them far more than any other country — it’s never enough. They always want more.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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