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.

References

1. https://www.ama-assn.org/about/research/trends-health-care-spending#:~:text=Health%20spending%20in%20the%20U.S.,in%202017%20(4.3%20percent).

2. Duncombe, J. (2021). Health Costs from Climate Soar To $820 Billion. Eos, 102. https://doi.org/10.1029/2021EO159114

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. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13090894

5. https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/costs-inaction-burden-health-report.pdf