By Megan McArdle

For years, we worried about the rapid rate of growth in health-care spending. A crude extrapolation of prior trends suggested that by the middle of the century, America would be spending 157 percent of gross domestic product on health care, leaving no money at all for food, shelter or Franklin Mint collectibles. People usually talked about this as a problem of America’s unusually high rate of health-care cost inflation. But, in fact, that wasn’t the problem at all, as you can see from this chart:
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For years, we worried about the rapid rate of growth in health-care spending. A crude extrapolation of prior trends suggested that by the middle of the century, America would be spending 157 percent of gross domestic product on health care, leaving no money at all for food, shelter or Franklin Mint collectibles. People usually talked about this as a problem of America’s unusually high rate of health-care cost inflation. But, in fact, that wasn’t the problem at all, as you can see from this chart:
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