chart of the week

The OECD has released its latest health expenditure data. The US still leads in spending on health care. The US spends more public funds on health care than most other nations do in total (public plus private). Yet it does not obtain exceptionally good results from all that expenditure.

That the U.S spends a lot of money on health care is a refrain many Americans are familiar with, but the latest health expenditure data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development still are striking. Here’s a graph of health-care expenditure as a percentage of gross domestic product for the 34 member nations of the OECD between 1980 and 2012. ….

In 2011, the most recent year in which most of the countries reported data, the U.S. spent 17.7% of its GDP on health care, whereas none of the other countries tracked by the OECD reported more than 11.9%. And there’s a debate about just how well the American health-care system works.

Shirley S. Wang. “U.S. Health Spending: One of These Things Not Like Others“, Real Time Economics (Wall Street Journal blog), 23 July 2013.

HT Mark Thoma

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