Transforming Health Care Through Evidence and Collaboration
Transforming Health Care Through Evidence and Collaboration

In this chart story, we review key projections for Medicare and Social Security, identify trends that are unsustainable, and explain how growing entitlement and interest spending affect the federal budget.


We know that health care spending is highly concentrated, with just 5 percent of the population accounting for 50 percent of spending. But what else do we know about these high spenders? This chart story synthesizes the latest data on patterns in personal health spending, including the persistence of individual spending over time.


With another presidential election on the horizon, the perennial debate over reforming federal entitlement programs has begun to resurface. Policy prescriptions are bound to vary along the political spectrum, but failing to come to agreement and act will threaten our long-term fiscal health. This chart story breaks down the latest numbers on spending for Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.


One percent of the U.S. population accounts for nearly 23 percent of overall health care spending, and 5 percent are responsible for a full 50 percent of spending. This chart story uses takes a closer look at the top spenders, noting factors driving their higher spending and examining the persistence of spending patterns over time.


This chart story pulls together essential facts on how much the federal government is spending on mandatory health care programs, how that spending affects the budget, and the hard spending and revenue trade-offs necessary to improve our fiscal outlook.