Massucci's Take: Can a fat tax fix our health care system?


How much does your illness cost you and your insurer? According to a recent study by General Electric (GE) and the U.S. Department of Health's Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a 50-year old with diabetes will rack up more than $6,600 in medical bills over the course of a year; someone who has acid reflux will incur $5,500 in annual costs.

The high cost of illness, insurance and treatments is one of the key factors driving the U.S. health care reform debate in Washington. The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, which was published last week, allows people to see just how much certain illnesses will cost them and their insurer based on age and, of course, the condition. After looking at these charts you'll pray you never get diagnosed with diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or emphysema.