Health Affairs: How State Budgets Can Find The Balance Between Social Versus Medical Services

Few studies have directly examined the tradeoffs that states and local governments are making between social spending and health care spending. With funding from Well Being Trust, the Lown Institute recently completed a report on the trends in California spending on health care versus spending on social services and other factors that affect health. We found that spending on health care grew by 146 percent between 2007 and 2018. During that same period, spending on social determinants of health—factors we call “community conditions”—increased by just 39 percent.
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