Health care in the United States is a $2.9 trillion industry, accounting for nearly 18 percent of the gross domestic product, up from 14 percent in 2000. Health care inflation outpaces inflation in other markets. Federal, state and local governments share the financial burden of health care with employers and individuals. For example, state and federal governments spent $413.9 billion on Medicaid alone in 2011. But the return on investment has been disappointing in some areas. The U.S. spends twice as much on health care per capita compared to other industrialized nations but isn’t the healthiest nation, by far. Americans have shorter lives, higher infant mortality rates, higher incidence of chronic diseases and more than many other high-income nations. Cost and quality are central to much of today's health policy discussion. State policymakers are interested in stabilizing health spending and ensuring quality health services to ultimately improve the health of all Americans and create a sustainable health care system. NCSL has timely reports, articles, videos, webinar archives and more, with a focus on the state role in improving the value of health care.