On March 30, 2009, HHS released a report entitled “The Costs of Inaction,” which cites the high cost of health care, diminished access to care, and persistent gaps in health care quality as reasons to pass health reform legislation this year. Highlights of the report include the following:
- The U.S. spent approximately $2.2 trillion on health care in 2007, or $7,421 per person, totaling 16.2% of gross domestic product (GDP).
- Health care costs doubled from 1996 to 2006, and are projected to rise to 25% of GDP in 2025 and 49 percent in 2082.
- An estimated 87 million people were uninsured at some point in 2007 and 2008. More than 80% of the uninsured are in working families.
- Up to 98,000 Americans die each year as a result of medical errors.