News Headlines Article

Who Is to Blame for Health Care’s Problems? A Tale of Two Narratives
The Health Care Blog

What to do about the seemingly inexorable rise in health spending has been the central health policy challenge for two generations of health economists and policymakers. In 1965, before Medicare and Medicaid, health spending was about 5.8 percent of GDP. In 2013, it was nearly 18 percent. And GDPquadrupled during this same period.

Over the past 30 years, there are been two warring political narratives explaining health spending growth, with two different culprits and indicated remedies.  At their cores, these narratives blame the main actors in the health care drama—patients and physicians—for rising costs.