Chan Lai Ly has his feet examined as part of a regular check-up related to his diabetes, by Honghue Duong, a physician's assistant. Patients with chronic diseases account for a huge hunk of health spending, a new study shows. (Ted S. Warren / AP)

[NBC News]

Chan Lai Ly has his feet examined as part of a regular check-up related to his diabetes, by Honghue Duong, a physician’s assistant. Patients with chronic diseases account for a huge hunk of health spending, a new study shows. (Ted S. Warren / AP)

U.S. medical care is getting ever pricier, but it’s not because so many old people are running up charges, experts reported Tuesday. Most of the money’s being spent on people under 65 with chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

And even though the U.S. spends $2.7 trillion a year, nearly 18 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), on health care, it’s not keeping up with the rest of the developed world when it comes to improving people’s health.

“It does show pretty clearly that price is the culprit here,” Dr. Hamilton Moses of the Alerion Institute in Virginia and Johns Hopkins University told reporters.

“Based on this review…the U.S. ‘system’ has performed relatively poorly,” Moses and colleagues wrote in the report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Their findings echo what other experts have found – U.S. health care gives little value for the money.

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