The U.S. is famous for over-spending on health care. The nation spent 17.8 percent of its GDP on health care in 2016. Meanwhile, the average spending of 11 high-income countries assessed in a new report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association — Canada, Germany, Australia, the U.K,. Japan, Sweden, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark and the U.S. — was only 11.5 percent.
Per capita, the U.S. spent $9,403. That's nearly double what the others spent.
This finding offers a new explanation as to why America's spending is so excessive. According to the researchers at the Harvard Chan School, what sets the U.S. apart may be inflated prices across the board.
In the U.S., they point out, drugs are more expensive. Doctors get paid more. Hospital services and diagnostic tests cost more. And a lot more money goes to planning, regulating and managing medical services at the administrative level.
In other areas, despite conventional wisdom, there seems to be less discrepancy between the U.S. and other countries than commonly thought.