The data from 2013 doesn’t bring a lot of surprises.  Total spent on health care $2.9 trillion, that’s 2,900,000,000,000, and amounts to $9,255 per person.  The total accounts for 17.4 percent of the economy for health care spending.

Hospital care was $937 billion, physicians and clinical services $587 billion, other professional services (non-physician, e.g., physical therapy, podiatry, chiropractic), $80 billion, durable medical equipment (like wheelchairs, eyeglasses, etc.), $43 billion.

On prescription drugs, the statistics say:

  • We spent about $270 billion a year on prescription drugs.  Pharmaceutical companies  spent 152 million in campaign contributions.
  • We pay 77% more than Canadians for the exact same drugs, and 50% or more than Germany, United Kingdom, and Switzerland.  No mention of Mexico which is probably 80%.
  • Forty eight percent of Americans take 1 prescription, 21% take more than 3 and 11% take more than 5.  One out of every 5 children takes prescription drugs and 76% of seniors more than 2.

Who paid for all of it?  Medicare paid, $85.7 billion, Medicaid $449.4 billion, premiums for private health insurance reached $962.7 billion, no information on how much private insurance paid, but out of pocket expense from those insured was $39.4 billion.

Clearly, health care provides a major avenue for careers.  Many of the medical support jobs require certification. has both training and certification for a variety of healthcare careers.