“Americans spend more than 17 percent of GDP on health care; other high income industrial democracies spend only about 11 percent. The 6 percent difference in our $17 trillion economy amounts to $1 trillion,” the New York Times reports.
“The excess in the United States is primarily attributable to a more expensive mix of procedures and services, higher prices paid to drug companies and physicians, and inefficiencies in the financing of health care. There are undoubtedly cultural differences between the United States and other countries, but it is also true that Swedes differ from Italians, Germans from French, and the English from all of the above.”
“What these countries have in common that distinguishes their health care systems from the American is universal insurance for basic care, a larger share of government in financing health care (typically about 75 percent of the total versus 50 percent in the United States), and more aggressive control of expenditures.”