Here is the most interesting fact about the economy that you’ve never heard: Without health spending, the rest of the economy is barely producing more than it did in late 2007, just before the start of the Great Recession. We’ve spent 5½ years struggling to get back where we were, and many industries are hardly making it.
This sobering insight comes from the Center for Sustainable Health Spending in Ann Arbor, Mich., which compares health spending to the economy’s total output, gross domestic product (GDP). From December 2007 to June 2013, health spending rose a respectable 14.7 percent. Meanwhile, GDP grew a lowly 4.6 percent. Exclude health spending from GDP and its growth is only 2.7 percent.