The cost of not paying

Wilson Mixon notices a rather predictable, but nevertheless ironic aspect data on the cost of health care:

Russ Roberts provides a snapshot of how much third-party payments have grown since 1960.

My computations below are from the table from which he excerpts, with per-capita out-of-pocket expenditures computed and converted to real terms.

Year 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2003
PerCap $126 $301 $931 $2398 $3955 $4866
Paid $70 $119 $252 $540 $672 $779
RealPaid $235 $308 $306 $413 $390 $423
PaidPct 55.2 39.7 27.1 22.5 17.0 16.0

So, now that we pay 1/6 of the total cost, our out-of-pocket cost is about 80% higher than when we paid 55.2% of the total cost.

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