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Costs to the Healthcare System

Health care expenses are extremely high as it is. Pre-pandemic, the United States spent more than any other country on healthcare, about 17.7% of our GDP, or $3.8 trillion. Climate change will only exacerbate these costs.

Key Points

  • Between 2001 and 2010, minorities and those above the age of 65 in the United States experienced higher medical costs due to hospitalizations from heat-related illness

  • Estimates regarding the health costs of climate change per year surpass the amount the United States spends on its defense budget, over $820 billion US dollars

To learn more, The Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health developed a report breaking down the economic costs of climate change and healthcare in the United States. Click here to view the report.



2. Duncombe, J. (2021). Health Costs from Climate Soar To $820 Billion. Eos, 102.

3. Schmeltz, M. T., Petkova, E. P., & Gamble, J. L. (2016). Economic Burden of Hospitalizations for Heat-Related Illnesses in the United States, 2001-2010. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(9). 4.


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