We usually think about the growth in health care spending in straight dollars, the number put toward medicine from one year to the next.
Chris Conover has another way of going about it: He recently graphed the number of work days, paid at average wage, necessary to buy an average amount of health care. Right now, the average worker needs to work nearly two months of eight-hour work days – 58.3 days, to be exact – to purchase the average amount of health care spending. Back in 1958, that number stood at 14.8 days.
This is really different, Conover points out, from items like washers and dryers, or music players, where there’s been a significant decline in the number of work days. You can see that in the graph below. [See Washington Post for charts and complete article]