Abstract: This chapter provides an overview of health care costs in the United
States, including trends, sources and uses of funds, employers' role, and
factors driving costs. It also reviews what analysts believe are cost drivers
especially compared to other countries that have significantly lower health
care costs and, often, better health outcomes. Within the US, there are
also important differences by geography, further demonstrating that higher US
costs do not reflect higher quality and greater patient and physician
satisfaction. In fact, the opposite is often the case.