Health care is as American as apple pie, at least when it comes to spending. The usual metric for the macroeconomy is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This is defined as the market value of all goods and services produced in a country. Arithmetically, the calculation is,

GDP = Personal Consumption + Investment + Government Spending + (Exports – Imports)

Personal consumption is the largest single component of the economy. Health care comprises over 17% of personal consumption expenditures, and housing, 15%. The third largest line item in personal consumption is food, which eats up 14% of personal consumption expenses.

Thus, health care took 17 cents of each dollar spent in 2006. By 2015, this proportion is forecasted to be 20% — that is, 1 of every 5 dollars in America will go to health care.

Health Populi’s Hot Points: You’re upset about the cost of gas. Yet, gas, fuel and energy consume 75% less of your spending than health care. Health care costs are an integral part of household spending, and kitchen table conversations. That’s the rationale for starting up this blog, Health Populi…

Health Populi, Health of the People. I learned about “health citizenship” when working in Europe and meeting Jean-Claude Healy who led EU health data efforts and uttered the phrase, “health citizen” to me for the first time. This is the root mission of this blog, where we’ll think about health, people, technology, and economics.

[Data Sources: Health Care Spending: Public Payers Face Burden of Entitlement Program Growth, While All Payers Face Rising Prices and Increasing Use of Services, February 15, 2007, General Accounting Office, GAO-07-497T (]

9 Comments on Health Care is the #1 Line Item in Our National Economy…and Taking More Out of Our Pockets said : Guest Report 9 months ago

[…] started the Health Populi blog in September 2007 with a post titled “Health Care is the #1 Line Item in Our National Economy….and Taking More Out of Your Po… displaying this sign from Tom’s Shell gas station comparing the price of gas to an […] said : Guest Report 3 years ago

[…] overall household budgets and finances. This concept has underpinned Health Populi since I wrote the first post in this blog in September 2007 on the cost of health care, featuring this picture from Tom’s Shell characterizing the high […] said : Guest Report 3 years ago

[…] in the American’s personal and household health economy. That was the theme that started the first Health Populi blog post in […] said : Guest Report 4 years ago

[…] I wrote my first post on Health Populi nearly eleven years ago Labor Day week 2007. The theme was, “Health Care is the #1 Line Item In Our National Economy…and Taking More Out of Your Pocket.” […] said : Guest Report 4 years ago

[…] some historical perspective, the topic of Gas ‘n Health Care was the topic of my inaugural Health Populi post exactly eleven years ago Labor Day week […] said : Guest Report 5 years ago

[…] year I launched Health Populi, the inaugural post focused on just this issue; the post was titled, “Health care is the #1 line item in our national economy…and taking more out of your poc… That was written in the 2001-2010 period of healthcare spending, so an old story giving me feelings […] said : Guest Report 5 years ago

[…] the earliest posts focused on the peoples’ (“populi”) personal health economics, which this first post discussed a decade ago. Plus ça […]

Pocketbook Health Economics In One Chart - Health Populi said : Guest Report 7 years ago

[…] Populi’s Hot Points:  The Health Populi blog’s first post was titled Health Care Is The #1 Line Item in Our National Economy…and Taking More out of your Pocket, published on September 11, 2007, nearly eight years […]

Considerations About Healthcare | Thought Continuum said : Guest Report 10 years ago

[...] Healthcare is the largest single line item the American economy. [...]

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