Call it the $2.8 trillion enigma. That’s what Americans spent on health care in 2012. The good news is that health spending slowed unexpectedly for the fourth consecutive year. The enigma is that no one really knows why. Despite many theories, there’s no expert consensus.
Although I’ve written about this before, I return to it because runaway health spending is a huge national problem. It has squeezed take-home pay (employers channel more compensation to health insurance and less to salary) and is crowding out other programs — schools, defense, regulation, police — at the federal and state levels.