Excess health care cost growth was quite steady until roughly a decade ago, when it fell substantially: Average annual rates of excess cost growth per capita and per insurance enrollee, 1979–2007 compared with 2007–2016

Per capita Per insurance enrollee
1979–2007 2.3648% 2.5510
2007–2016 1.3149 .5848

Notes: Excess growth in health care costs is the difference between the growth rate of potential GDP per capita and the growth rate of health spending per capita (health costs divided by the entire population) and health spending per insurance enrollee (health care costs divided by the number of persons with health insurance). Potential GDP is a measure of what GDP could be as long as the economy did not suffer from excess unemployment.

Sources: Data on potential GDP come from the Congressional Budget Office 2018a. Data on national health expenditures come from the National Health Expenditure Accounts from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Studies (CMS 2018). Data on the share of the population with access to health coverage before 1987 come from Cohen et al. 2009; data for this share for the years 1987–2016 are from CMS 2018.

View the underlying data on epi.org.