Interesting Facts

An Ongoing List of Interesting Facts on Healthcare, Politics, Corporations, Laws and Other Aspects of Our Country Which Relate to ObamaCare.

Here are some interesting facts about everything healthcare related. Find interesting facts and statistics on laws, politics, companies and citizens as they relate to healthcare. By understanding a little about how the healthcare system works and how it relates to the rest of our every day lives you will be able to get a better idea of what ObamaCare aims to fix, where it falls short and what it does right.

Where Do These Facts Come From?

Our interesting facts list isn’t cited. These are a collection of random facts from all over the internet. Sources are almost always official sources, not-for-profits and news organizations. Please do not publish any of these facts if citation is needed. In most cases you can google any of these facts and find the official source.

Interesting Facts: Spending, Cost and Prices

Before we start giving you the facts on healthcare it’s important to note the differences between spending, cost and pricing.

Healthcare Spending vs. Cost vs. Prices: Healthcare spending is the total amount spent regardless of costs and prices. Prices are what healthcare providers charge for services and products. Costs are what healthcare providers actually had to spend to provide healthcare services and products to patients. Costs can be thought of as prices minus profits or losses.

Interesting Facts and Statistics on Healthcare

Here are some interesting facts on the US healthcare system. Familiarize yourself with our current problems and our history and you will get a much better understanding on what ObamaCare does.

• The US is the only wealthy, industrialized country without universal healthcare.

• Medicare is the only market of healthcare wherein the prices it bills for procedures and exams are set by a formula that is somewhat based on what these instruments of health care actually cost. With private insurance hospitals and doctors have much more leverage to set prices.

• In 2012 the US spent about 50% more on healthcare per person then Switzerland which is the country with the second highest per capita costs. US $8,233 Switzerland $5,270. These are the average costs.

• The average cost of healthcare per capita for those under 50 isn’t much different in the US than it is in some of the other high cost industrialized countries. However after age 50 is sharply raises to almost 5 times the cost of any other country. It costed an average of over $40,000 to provide healthcare to the average 80 year old in 2012 in America, while only around $10,00 in Germany.

• From 1960 to 2009 the per capita cost rose 55 times from $147 a person to $8,086 a person. With inflation considered the per capita cost in 1960 would be $1,082, still a 7.2% increase.

• Seniors only account for about 13% of the population but account for 30% of health care spending

• Hospitals make more from private insurance than they do from Medicare

• Hospitals use a document called a chargemaster to set prices. Price setting drastically changes from district to district and has little to do with the actual cost of care.

• A chargemaster is a master file built within hospital information systems, and designed to communicate (interface) with other software applications or systems to support government-mandated standard billing requirements. It contains data elements such as charge descriptions, billing codes, pricing, and many other necessary data elements.

• The healthcare system costs around $2.6 trillion in 2012 and is expected to rise to $4.8 trillion by 2021.

• The US spends more than 17% of it’s totally GDP on healthcare, the highest percentage of any country in the world.

• In 2003, the Federal Reserve reported that approximately 52% of all collection actions by collection agencies and creditors were associated with medical bills.

• Cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes are responsible for the majority of deaths and health care costs in the United States.

• Hospital care, physician, and other clinical services make up about 51% of all health spending

• It is estimated that around 30% of all healthcare spending in the US is wasted.

• Prescription drugs are responsible for about 10% of all healthcare spending in the US.

• About 12 million Americans (age 12 or older) reported nonmedical use of prescription painkillers

• Prescription painkiller overdoses killed nearly 15,000 people in the US during 2008. In comparison, roughly 16,272 murders were committed in the U.S. that year.

• Customers generally have little choice within their insurance plans of which hospital to go to due to the consolidation and price-reducing deals that insurance companies make with hospital companies.

• The US is ranked 50th for life expectancy in the world. 2011

• 68% of adults are overweight. Being overweight can raise insurance premiums considerably.

• A number parent companies own food growing, distributing and healthcare companies. They are responsible for providing unhealthy food, low wages, poor health care plans if any at all and make a profit when those customers use healthcare services.

• 76% of Fortune 50 companies are in the health industry or have a health division

• Non-profit hospitals often make more profit than for-profit hospitals.

• There are up to one hundred thousand deaths per year due to medical errors.

• Hospitals aim to buy the competition. This for-profit legal move toward monopoly has adverse effects on everything from patient outcomes to customer satisfaction, not to mention a driver of price increases.

• Hospitals tend to pay off equipment like CT scanners quickly. This gives the hospital incentive to buy more. This cycle leads to people being screened for tests they don’t need.

• Hospitals take about 35% of the money they bill, due to the “over pricing” of care they are still able to make considerable profits.

• 75% of all health care dollars are spent on patients with one or more chronic conditions, many of which can be prevented, including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, lung disease, high blood pressure, and cancer.

• As of 2014 there is a fine for not purchasing health insurance

• 1 out of every 2 American adults has a pre-existing condition

• As of November 17, 2011, the net profit margin (after taxes[56]) for various industries within the healthcare sector are as follows:

Medical Laboratories & Research 0.8%

Long-Term Care Facilities 0.9%

Hospitals 4.3%

Medical Practitioners 4.3%

Health Care Plans 4.5%

Home Health Care 5.7%

Drugs, Generic 6.0%

Medical Instruments & Supplies 13.6%

Drug Manufacturers, Major 16.7%

• The companies that make the largest profits off of healthcare spending are being hit with a 2.5% excise tax. This still leaves them making over twice what the third largest for profit healthcare industry makes.

• Once fraudulent or improper payments are made, the government is likely to only recover pennies on the dollar. This contributes to the considerable amount of wasted spending on healthcare.

• In fiscal year 2010, the Medicare program made about $48 billion in improper payments. This is the highest estimated amount of improper payments in a single federal program.

• In fiscal year 2010, the Medicaid program made $22.5 billion in improper payments.

• In fiscal year 2008, the Children’s Health Insurance Program made $834 million in improper payments

More Interesting Facts

We have covered some pretty interesting facts on how healthcare works in our country. Moving forward we will look at some facts about corporations and politics to see how those relate to the new healthcare reform law.


Interesting Facts about the US Healthcare Industry

Author: Thomas DeMichele

Thomas DeMichele is the head writer and founder of,, and other websites. He has been in the health insurance and healthcare information field since 2012. is a...

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