Hospital services, prescription drugs, and health insurance stand out even within medical care. Price increases for medical care have contributed 42 percent of the overall CPI increase.
Over the last twelve months, prices for medical care have increased seven times faster than prices for non-medical items in the CPI. Price increases for medical care have contributed 26 percent of the overall CPI increase (Table I).
Many observers of medical prices decline to differentiate between nominal and real inflation. Because CPI is flat, even relatively moderate nominal price hikes for medical care are actually substantial real price hikes. More than six years after the Affordable Care Act was passed, consumers are seeing no relief from high medical prices, which have increased over twice as much as the CPI less medical care since March 2010, the month President Obama signed the law (Figure I).