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The United States spends $2.1 trillion, or 16% of GDP, on health care. What does that go towards?

Category 1990 2007
Health services and supplies $666.7 $2,095.5
Personal health care expenses $607.5 $1,877.6
Hospital care $251.6 $696.7
Physician and clinical services $157.5 $473.0
Dental services $31.5 $96.9
Other professional services $18.2 $61.7
Home health care $12.6 $57.6
Prescription drugs $40.3 $231.3
Other nondurable medical products $22.5 $36.7
Durable medical equipment $11.2 $24.5
Nursing home care $52.6 $129.7
Other personal health care $9.6 $69.6
Public administration and net cost of private health insurance $39.2 $155.1
Public health activities $20.0 $62.8
Medical research $12.7 $42.9
Medical structures and equipment $34.7 $107.2

Items of Note:

7.4% of healthcare spending goes towards administrative costs.

11% of healthcare spending goes towards prescription drugs.

5% of healthcare spending goes towards acquiring buildings and equipment.

33% of healthcare spending goes towards hospital care.


Other professional services: Includes services of registered and practical nurses in private duty, podiatrists, optometrists, physical therapists, clinical psychologists, chiropractors, naturopaths, and
Christian Science practitioners.

Durable medical equipment: Includes expenditures for eyeglasses, hearing aids, orthopedic appliances, artificial limbs, crutches, wheelchairs, etc.

Public administration and net cost of private health insurance: Includes administrative expenses of federally financed health programs.

Medical Research: Research and development expenditures of drug companies and other manufacturers and providers of medical equipment and supplies are excluded from research expenditures, but are included in the expenditure class in which the product falls.

Medical structures and equipment: Represents expenditures for total medical sector acquisitions of structures and equipment including structures that house medical professionals’ offices.