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The skyrocketing cost of U.S. health care: By the numbers
The fate of ObamaCare may be in doubt, but one thing's for sure: Rising health-care costs are making it harder and harder for Americans to stay insured
 
In 2012, a typical family of four under an employer health plan will pay an estimated $20,000 for insurance, more than double the cost for the same family in 2002.
In 2012, a typical family of four under an employer health plan will pay an estimated $20,000 for insurance, more than double the cost for the same family in 2002.
KidStock/Blend Images/Corbis

No matter what the Supreme Court decides regarding the constitutionality of President Obama's health-care overhaul, this much is clear: Health-care costs are rising, and will keep rising, so Americans aren't getting much bang for their health care buck. Health consulting firm Milliman Inc. expects 2012 to be the fifth year in a row that U.S. health-care costs will jump about 7 or 8 percent, and while people who pay out of pocket generally are the hardest hit, even Americans with employer-sponsored plans have increasingly seen the costs eat up their salaries. Here, a numerical guide to how expensive it is to be healthy in the U.S.:

$2.6 trillion
Annual public and private spending on health care

$8,402
Amount that works out to per American

17.9
Percentage of GDP the $2.6 trillion constitutes

$9,235
Cost, in 2002, to cover a family of four under an employer plan

$20,000
Estimated cost to cover a family of four under an employer health plan in 2012, according to Milliman 

113
Percent increase in employer-sponsored premiums since 2001

$7,102
Cost, in 2010, for a typical family not enrolled in a group or employer health plan

6.6
Percentage of a household budget spent on health care in 2010

$950
Annual per capita spending on pharmaceutical expenses 

78.2
Average U.S. life expectancy

$5,352
Annual per capita cost of health care in Norway, the second-most expensive nation in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 

$800
Annual out-of-pocket expenses per person in Norway 

81
Average life expectancy in Norway 

$4,478
Annual per capita cost of health care in Canada, No. 6 in the OECD

80.7
Average life expectancy in Canada 

$3,978
Annual per capita cost of health care in France, No. 10 in the OECD

$290
Annual out-of-pocket expense per person in France

81.5
Average life expectancy in France

Sources: CNNMoney, National Journal, 24/7 Wall St.

 

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