Medical Inflation Reverses for First Time in 35 Years

Rising medical costs are as American as apple pie. In the last 40 years, Catherine Rampell notes, there are only three months in which medical care prices fell. July 2010 was number three.


Nobody should expect this trend to continue. If it did, we would solve our debt crisis at the expense of blowing up our unemployment rate by killing one of the only working job engines in the country, our health sector.

It's troubling to think that medical inflation is both the engine of our health care industry -- our top sector in the next decade -- and the engine of our debt accumulation in the next few decades, which is presumably something we'd like to slow. When I think about how health care spending is central to job creation in hundreds of cities across the country, and also how curbing the growth of health care spending is central to our financial stability, my head sort of wants to explode.