Problems in U.S. Health Care

Out of 10 other high-income countries (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom), the U.S. spends the most percent of GDP on health care, almost twice as much as the average OECD country. However, at the same time it has the lowest life expectancy and highest suicide rates.

The U.S. also has the highest percentage of adults with chronic conditions, and also the highest percentage of adults with obesity, which contributes to this problem. Besides Germany, we have the highest rates of hospitalizations from diabetes and hypertension. The U.S. has the highest rate of avoidable deaths, and Americans have fewer physician visits and number of physicians than average. However, the U.S. has a high rate of MRI scans and prevention measures like flu vaccinations and breast cancer screenings.

From these facts, it is clear that the U.S. healthcare system is not adequate enough to handle our problems. A conclusion that could be possibly drawn is that higher prices of healthcare are why the U.S. spends more on healthcare. Another conclusion that can be drawn is that some people spend money on treatments that do not provide much benefit, like on MRI scans when they do not need to, while many other Americans still do not go to the physician as much as they should, and do not adequately prevent disease.

https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2020/jan/us-health-care-global-perspective-2019

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