Rising Cost of Health Care

Archive Report

Urgent Need for Action

Reagan's Proposals for Controlling Costs

For Americans hard pressed by double-digit unemployment and high interest rates, one of the few encouraging developments during the current recession has been a fall in the rate of inflation. In 1982, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by a relatively low 3.9 percent, five points below the 1981 figure.1 But one component of the index continued to climb at a faster rate than other consumer prices. The amount Americans spent on health care in 1982 rose 11 percent over the previous year to a record $321.4 billion; hospital costs alone rose 12.6 percent last year. And while consumer prices actually fell by 0.2 percent in February 1983, medical costs went up 0.8 percent. The portion of ...

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