Since 1970, health spending growth has outpaced the growth of the United States economy as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). In 1970, total national health expenditures as a percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 6.9%; total national health expenditure in 2018 represented 17.7% of GDP. The recently released National Health Expenditure (NHE) data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, after being updated and organized by the Peterson-Kaiser Family Foundation Health System Tracker confirm these figures . Four decades have passed between 1970 to 2020, and the longterm effects of medical inflation versus national inflation can only be compared in constant dollars. In short, the Health System Tracker values use constant 2018 dollars to compare 1970 figures ($385 Billion) against the present value of 2018 figures ($3,649 Billion). This means the total national health expenditure in 2018 is 947% larger than it was in 1970.
Pettingill BF* and Federico R Tewes