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dollar bills disintegrating from hand A core issue from an economic and social standpoint is this: What is the ultimate benefit, or return, on health care spending? (Photo: Shutterstock)

Why has the cost of medical care in the United States been going up significantly faster than the overall inflation rate of goods and services?

On a broad level, since 2000, the Medical Care component of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has been consistently increasing at a 1.5%-2% higher annual rate than the CPI for all goods and services. Health care spending accounts for 18% of US Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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