A Picture Of Health

Tyler Durden's picture

As one of the largest segments of the US economy, health care accounts for trillions of dollars in spending, both by governments and private individuals. Top Masters in Healthcare decided to take a closer look at where the money goes in this infographic covering everything from 'who does the spending?' to 'where the spending goes' and which states have the highest rates of obesity. The impact of the healthcare industry on everyday Americans continues to grow, whether they see it in their insurance bill or whether they earn their salaries from the health care industry. The issue also continues to dominate the political conversation... there's no escaping it.

Health in America

Source: Best Masters in Healthcare

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
prains's picture

cue the social issues for consumption

Croesus's picture




IF "Big Pharma" was in the business of curing people, as they claim to be.....they'd be out of business. The idea is to keep your symptoms "managed"....so you run in circles from the doctor to the pharmacy.

Think of how many jobs are created because of illness......sickness and disease are great for the economy!

Abraxas's picture

(looking at a guy recently shot in the head, brains all over the place) Honestly, he’s fine. It’s just a scratch.

WayBehind's picture

Who cares about the cost. We will have an Obamacare. Free for all. Fed will pay for it. They can afford it since they have the magic printer. Keep calm and carry on. Its all just fine.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

In Russia, rely on "Putincare", but everyone know Putin just is not care, not even try to pretend. Maybe in end, rely on Obama is care not just is bad health, but big disappointment, too. Being Amerikan liberal is suck.

greyghost's picture

obesity......red states bad

blue states good

why are the poorest states in the union red states....why do red states have an obesity problem????? inquiring minds want to know.

trader1's picture

...because the red states are preparing for a collapse of the economic system, which will disrupt the highly centralized, high-risk food supply chain.  

all that fat will sustain them when access to food becomes a major problem.


Boris Alatovkrap's picture

... and warm. In Russia, is call "Siberian Diet". Fatten up for long stint in Gulag.

trader1's picture

those downgrading my post have a poor sense of humor.


drchris's picture

The data tells a different story when you do the same analysis by race.  Which groups are the most obese?  Which party do they overwhelmingly vote for?  When you look at different measures, it's easy to see there isn't a clear association like the one you suggest.  However, part of being a partisan hack is cherry picking data to reinforce your political leanings.  Good going!

johnQpublic's picture

cue sound of breaking glass

Oh regional Indian's picture

Healthy finances, sick and dying patients.

What a perfectly inverted picture for a rather inverted world.

Just imagine the day when some guy in the gubmint decides pain meds (america's no.1 drug dependency problem) are not covered any longer.

No No vo cain for you.

Only john Muck Cain for you.

Mo pain, mo pain for you.



Racer's picture

Almost half take at least one drug? Wow, the drug industry certainly are good pushers to get this many addicts

RideTheWalrus's picture

Just wait until they buy out the Cheetos brand and combine the two!


Longtermnotreally's picture

Our Western "Health Care" system is a complete scam, it's based on treating sick people, not preventing people getting sick, on the contrary, people need to get diseases, it's good for business

JustObserving's picture

It is called Coronary Capitalism by Ken Rogoff


But the obesity epidemic hardly looks like a growth killer. Highly processed corn-based food products, with lots of chemical additives, are well known to be a major driver of weight gain, but, from a conventional growth-accounting perspective, they are great stuff. Big agriculture gets paid for growing the corn (often subsidized by the government), and the food processors get paid for adding tons of chemicals to create a habit-forming – and thus irresistible – product. Along the way, scientists get paid for finding just the right mix of salt, sugar, and chemicals to make the latest instant food maximally addictive; advertisers get paid for peddling it; and, in the end, the health-care industry makes a fortune treating the disease that inevitably results.

Coronary capitalism is fantastic for the stock market, which includes companies in all of these industries. Highly processed food is also good for jobs, including high-end employment in research, advertising, and health care.

So, who could complain? Certainly not politicians, who get re-elected when jobs are plentiful and stock prices are up – and get donations from all of the industries that participate in the production of processed food. Indeed, in the US, politicians who dared to talk about the health, environmental, or sustainability implications of processed food would in many cases find themselves starved of campaign funds.


Longtermnotreally's picture

The "food" industry, another part of the scam; first poison them, then drug them, making money on all fronts, a simple but very lucrative model, so in your face that most people will never see it

Cathartes Aura's picture

indeed, add it all up, cradle to grave, system seeks to profit off each SS# assigned.

problems going forward tho' - if folks aren't earning, they're not paying taxes or health care premiums or med bills, so the subsidies to pharma, fud-corps(e), etc. aren't as profit-able as they were in the booming boomer years, and those global corps(e) will need new #'s to feed off. . .

need a war to soak up the excess #'s created, rinse, repeat, ad nauseum, infinitum.

toady's picture

Maybe I missed it, but where was the 85% going to insurance companies that provide no value?

Navigator's picture

1000 green up arrows for toady.  I also couldn't find the analysis of the obscene profits and bonuses in the health insurance industry in this article.  The author probably just forgot that part.

machineh's picture

Kudos to both of you.

Actually this infographic is just a mishmash of random facts that mixes flows and stocks, quantities and revenues, and generally has no coherence.

If it had been left in black & white outline form, it could have served as a pre-K coloring book.

And yet, this sorry little cartoon represents ten times more than your KongressKlown knew when they blindly voted on Obamacare.

No drug can cure ignorance.

Yen Cross's picture

    I'm no insurance guru, so I'm going to the forum on this one. Why are [assisted care companies and facilities] popping up like mushrooms after a wet winter? If 'Obunga Care' is meant to make health care affordable then how will those entities be profitable?

   They must be FEMA camps for the Elderly?

JustObserving's picture

It is well established that medical expenses have bankrupted America.  Current liabilities for Medicare and Prescription Drugs are over $107 trillion ($340,000 per citizen).  And they increase $6 trillion a year ($19,200 per citizen). By 2020, they will exceed $500,000 a citizen easily - if we make it that far.

Anyone who thinks that the US is solvent is delusional.  And even more delusional if they think that Fed will ever sell any of the $3 trillion of bonds it has bought so far - and continues to buy at $1.02 trillion a year.  Quantitative Easings, like diamonds, are forever.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Wait until inflation really gets going.  You might have to adjust your numbers up a bit.

Stuck on Zero's picture

We need to put engineers in chage of healthcare.  Then we would see 50% yearly decreases in healthcare expenses and a much healthier population.  Look what they have done for cars, computers, and robots.

(Look out Demolition Man).


tonyw's picture

Many countries spend half what the US does (measured by GDP) and have better overall health care.

johnQpublic's picture

no where do i see an explanation as to why the cost of the very simplest of procedures has absolutely gone thru the roof

or why a surgical stapler i can buy online for 6.95$ costs me 700 dollars from the hospital

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

It costs $700 at the hospital because Uncle Sam has shafted the hospital on its Medicare payments.  Uncle Sam greatly underpays, and therefore the hospital has to make it up somehow, or else they go out of business.  They make it up on YOU.

BeaverFever's picture

It appears that your country has some rather big boned people who require big ass staples.

ebworthen's picture

Since 1960 costs have risen 5,400%.

If that isn't a clear indicator that the U.S. Economy is a PONZI I don't know what is.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Dr. Paul Krugman keeps on saying that inflation is running below 2% though.

optionsman's picture

some things should never be a profit center like health and education. as long as that is the case in the US the situation will get even worse

machineh's picture

Public schools aren't a profit center, they're just a cost center.

Who knew that free education could be so damned expensive?

Too bad price-slashing competition is kept out, BY LAW.

Tax feeders like it that way.

FeralSerf's picture

The public school system is  the PTB's method to train the sheep.  It is a necessary cost of doing business.  Without the conditioning the sheep receive in the public school system, the sheep remain unruly and difficult or impossible to govern and herd and the sheep will not reliably consume the products and services that the PTB have based their empire on.  The sheep also need this conditioning to convince them to get involved in the PTB's wars of conquest, which are really just a form of armed robbery inflicted upon the PTB's (and in effect on those PTB's flocks of sheep), in other lands.

The PTB would like to not have to bear the costs (which are actually borne by the sheep, but leave less for the PTB to take from their flocks), of this investment in their future, but so far they haven't discovered a way to avoid it.

Bazza McKenzie's picture

UK's NHS isn't a "profit centre", just one of the worst health care systems in the developed world.

Parrotile's picture

Actually, sunbeam, it's one of the Worlds best.

That is why the NHS's ideas have been very widely copied (except in America where private, therefore expensive, healthcare seems just so wonderful, doesn't it!).

I've never "had the pleasure" of working in the US's private system, but I have had the experience of working in the UK NHS (Hospitals big & small), the Netherlands, France (very short while), Germany, and South Africa (Groot Schuur, Capetown - Christiaan Barnard's Hospital).

Back home in Australia. Bad, bad system - mix of Public and Private, you NEED to have private insurance (and the "healthcare" you purchase is pretty poor believe me as an insider!).

France was the best, UK NHS and Netherlands about neck-and-neck for second place, Capetown a very, very close third, Germany fourth (teutonic "efficiency" but not much Patient empathy there), and Australia is by far the last. Bureaucracy, lazy staff, greedy clinicians providing a very poor public service (but charging an arm & a leg), really, really inefficient "States vs Federal" funding system, where the States play the game of "He says, She says" with the Feds .

And I'm reliably told by presnt colleagues that the situation in the US is much worse. OK if you have money, Third World if you are not so fortunate.

q99x2's picture

Predators of the sick dying and weak have always been successful..

MedicalQuack's picture

Yes indeed there's room for improvement all over healthcare but insurance companies make huge profits and they drive a lot of this expense so they can make money, don't forget that.  Granted they have fraud to deal with too and all efforts should be out to catch those folks,

Chronic conditions, we didn't have most of those 10 years ago and thus didn't treat it.  The "pre" existing chronic illnesses is touchy point for all.  Studies have been done that show treating the "pre" conditions has been a waste of money too as we treat people who don't need it.  The studies go back and forth.  Insurance companies might as well be in the IT area as companies like United make more money managing care today than they do selling policies.  You can see it on their annual reports.

Yes it is complicated for sure but the big data selling element is in here too with being overdone and funneled into the allows MLR (medical loss ratio) so they can plump up the numbers.  I realize too any info graphic is just that too but they are good to look at.  Look at these two departmetns of CMS trying to make sense out of the data the insurance industry put out..they are blaming each other for something that is not their problem


HHS really needs new leadership as I am growing tired of Sebelius and her sometimes silly stuff she puts out there and insurers got the best of her this week with getting a3% raise for private Medicare plans while doctors and hospitals, due to the sequester, got a 2% cut...thank your doctor for continuing to see Medicare patients. The insurers threatened to begin taking services away from seniors if they didn't get the increase. 


We have a sad governemnt that never calls anyone on models that corporations use to make money so they get away with it...same stuff in the DOJ with prosecuting banks, was way above DOJs Manny's head or talent was the impression I got from the PBS documentary. 

Sad too that so many doctors are having to sell their practices to hospitals as well, yet one more part of our society getting squeezed.  Hospitals want to buy them as they can have the services provided at a hospital owned facility and charge Medicare more.  Then the patient gets a new kind of bill with a "facility fee" that can range from soemthing around $50 up to thousands..  Cleveland Clinic patients rant about that one all the time. 

CheapBastard's picture

thnx MQ. I read in he news this week more doctors are not going to accept M/M. It said fewer then 12% will now accept M/M due to more cuts. So even though the brag is more people are "covered" ...in reality fewer may receive health care then before.

pashley1411's picture

You might consider universal health care as a starter drug.   If you look at where profits are made, end of life, the oldster is susceptable to major intervention, rather than pallative care.  

dolph9's picture

Health care costs will keep going up until they bankrupt everyone, it's inevitable.

Think about it.  If you spend billions of dollars keeping people with advanced disease and multiorgan failure alive, then those people will need even more billions spent on them in the future.

As such, the amount we can spend on healthcare has no apparent limit yet.  Healthcare creates its own increased demand in a feedback loop.

The limits are reached when you bankrupt taxpayers and those who pay for private insurance.  Once you can no longer extract from them, then there's no option but to start to charge very high prices for those that need expensive healthcare.  But of course, those people are often the least able to pay, and the bills would bankrupt them as well.

The end result is going to be health insurance companies, the government, hospitals and clinics going bust.  They'll shut down.  In the future be thankful for any healthcare you can get.

And in the meantime, do as much as you can to get your health in order.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

Nice graphs.  Let's cut through the BS.  Health care is just another government protected monopoly.  Free market reforms, please.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Gads.  And we only rank 48th in the world in healthcare.  Just behind Nigeria.