U.S. Healthcare: On the Costly Edge
How does U.S. health spending compare to other major systems and major populations?
- The US spends at least 50% more on healthcare than all other major economies with large populations.
- The US devotes 16.4% of its economy to healthcare. Germany & France spend about 11%.
- For its health spending, the US does not have better health outcomes – except on cancer treatment.
1. The United States spends 16.4% of its national GDP – or $2.75 trillion – each year on healthcare costs (as of 2013).
2. Healthcare consumes a far greater share of national GDP in the United States than in any other OECD country – at least 50% more than in other comparable countries.
3. In Germany, healthcare consumed 11% of GDP in 2013. France spent 10.9% of GDP on it.
4. The two countries use a tightly regulated and largely non-profit system for health insurance to provide competitive coverage options.
5. The United Kingdom, with 64 million people under a unified and centralized single-payer payment and care system, spent 8.5% of GDP on healthcare.
6. Canada, with its single-payer national health insurance system and private care providers, spent 10.2%.
7. The second most populous developed nation, Japan, spent 10.2% of its GDP on healthcare, via non-profit insurance and private hospitals.
8. For all of this money, the United States does not have better health outcomes – except on cancer treatment.
9. Relative to peer nations, U.S. life expectancy is lower, chronic diseases are more widespread, infant mortality is higher.
Sources: The Globalist Research Center, OECD and The Commonwealth Fund