OECD (2017), Health spending (indicator). doi: 10.1787/8643de7e-en (Accessed on 26 October 2017)
The Australian medical system is not without its issues. As is the case in many countries, affluent people have more and better access to care. The life expectancy of indigenous populations is approximately 70 years of age, whereas for non-indigenous citizens it's 84. And, like the U.S., the country also has a rising population of seniors that may require policy changes to be appropriately dealt with.
Still, among 11 high-income nations, the Aussie health care system ranked second in the world, just behind the United Kingdom's, while the U.S.'s system is ranked 11th, or last, according to a report from the Commonwealth Fund.
The quality of life in Australia is also boosted by programs that directly benefit average families, such as paid leave. New parents get 18 weeks of time off. The U.S., meanwhile, is the only developed country in the world that does not guarantee any paid leave.
The country also boasts a more generous system of income-based student loan repayments for college grads. "In Australia, graduates don't have to start making payments for their college educations until they reach a salary equivalent to $39,152, at which point they're charged 4 percent of their total earnings," The Atlantic reports.
This way, if you don't find a job with a decent salary immediately after college, you don't have to worry about paying your loans back yet. Nor do you have to worry about paying interest.
"By contrast, in most of the American plans, income-based repayments typically kick in at $17,820 — and take a minimum of 10 percent," according to The Atlantic. Plus, students do pay interest, and it usually compounds.
The result in the U.S. is a $1.3 trillion debt crisis that is only getting worse. In 2016, the average American college graduate left with $37,172 in debt, 6 percent more than the previous year, reports Rolling Stone.