KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Health Spending Outpaces Economic Growth In Wealthy Countries

Reuters on a report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD): The increase in health spending is "piling pressure budgets already hit" by the recession and is "likely to continue rising as populations age, technology improves and public expectations grow. ... Given the urgent need to reduce their budget deficits, many OECD governments will have to make difficult choices to sustain their healthcare systems: curb the growth of public spending on health, cut spending in other areas, or raise taxes," according to the report. "The biggest spender on health was the United States, which spent 16 percent of its national output" on health care in 2008.  Per person, the U.S. spends "well over double" the other nations (Kelland, 6/29).

PharmaTimes:  "New diagnostic technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) units and computed tomography (CT) scanners are a major driver of spending growth. The number of MRI units more than doubled on average across OECD countries" in the last eight years" (Taylor, 6/30). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.