The 10 years leading up to the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act saw rising healthcare costs consume workers' salary increases and more of the nation's debt, according to new research. And early indications suggest the pattern could continue.
Nearly all income gains for the average American family from 1999 to 2009 were consumed by medical inflation, according to a study released last week by RAND Corp. researchers. The study—published in September's Health Affairs—found that the annual income of the average American family of four increased 30% to $99,000 in 2009 from $76,000 in 1999. But nearly all that increased income was consumed by higher healthcare costs, according to the study.