News Headlines Article

Why Does the U.S. Overspend on Health Care? One Simple Reason

Fact: Despite all the advances in medical technology over the past century, during which the average life expectancy of Americans has grown by 30 years, 100 percent of Americans will still eventually die. But don’t try to tell that to a sick person with a flush bank account.

According to figures from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States spends more money on health care per capita than any other nation on Earth — nearly $7,300 per citizen in 2007 (the latest for which firm figures are available), of which nearly half was financed by tax dollars through programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. That’s 87 percent more than Canada paid to give its citizens universal health care that year, and more than three times the expenditures in the United Kingdom.