The health care industry is in shambles, and the rising cost of this care will affect more U.S. households than ever before, sending mixed reactions to shares and exchange traded funds (ETFs).On average, an American family will spend $16,771 this year on health care alone. This staggering number is a record high, with an increase of $1,162 per family. Beth Gaston Moon for Blogging Stocks reports that the deadly cycle of doctors, hospitals and drug companies are raising their rates in an effort to keep up with the recession.

In turn, companies that are cutting costs do so at the health care expense of their employees. Employers’ contribution to their employees’ monthly insurance premiums rose by 5.4% during the past year, while employees’ contributions surged 14.7%.  Double-digit increases have occurred for three years straight.

The Obama administration needs to tackle this issue before the year’s end, as 2009 has presented the worst year yet for health care costs.

  • iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare Sector Index Fund (IYH): down 3.9% year-to-date
  • Vanguard Health Care Fund (VHT): down 3.8% year-to-date

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.