Too Much of a Good Thing?

Why Health Care Spending Won't Make Us Sick

Charles R. Morris
Release Date: February 1, 2000

The conventional wisdom is that runaway health care costs pose a major long-term threat to the economy of the United States. Government statistics show that those costs have been increasing faster than the overall inflation rate for decades. According to recent estimates, in the near future, health care could account for as much as 25 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.

In this book, Charles R. Morris argues that increased spending on health care in and of itself may not be harmful to the economy. Morris makes the case that while aggregate health care spending will climb as the population ages and lifespans increase, the costs of many medical services will actually decline as productivity improves in ways that statistics fail to adequately measure. Morris argues that, if higher health care spending coincides with an improved quality of life for more Americans, along with increasing numbers of highly compensated jobs in the medical sector, the nation may be better off.