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Study: US an ‘outlier’ in health care spending

California Universal Health Care
Posted at 11:51 AM, Feb 06, 2023

Spending on health care in the United States far exceeds any other industrial nation however, that does not mean the nation has the best health outcomes.

According to data from the Commonwealth Fund, the U.S. spends 17.8% of its gross domestic product on health. The average among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development nations is 9.6%. The next highest nation among the 36 wealthy OECD nations is Germany at 12.8%.

Per person, Americans spend about $12,000 annually on health care.

The U.S. is also the only OECD nation not to have guaranteed health insurance, the Commonwealth Fund reported. Some of the OECD nations, however, offer voluntary health care in addition to government benefits.

Meanwhile, life expectancy in the U.S. is far lower than in other OECD nations. The life expectancy in the U.S. is 77. The average among OECD nations is 80.4. The U.S. also has the highest rate of infant mortality and maternal deaths, the Commonwealth Fund reported.

The United States also has an obesity rate that is considerably higher than the OECD average. Over 42 percent of U.S. adults are considered obese. Worldwide, it’s about 25 percent.

However, some health outcomes were at or above average in the U.S. The Commonwealth Fund found that 68% of seniors were vaccinated against the flu, which is 17 points higher than the OECD average. The nation’s COVID-19 vaccination rate is on par with the rest of the industrial world at 69%, the data indicated.

Americans were also more likely to seek breast and colon cancer screenings.