Why the U.S. Spends So Much More Than Other Nations on Health Care

January 2, 2018, The New York Times, Austin Frakt and Aaron E. Carroll- The United States spends almost twice as much on health care, as a percentage of its economy, as other advanced industrialized countries - totaling $3.3 trillion, or 17.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2016. But a few decades ago American health care spending was much closer to that of peer nations. What happened? A large part of the answer can be found in the title of a 2003 paper in Health Affairs by thePrinceton University health economist Uwe Reinhardt: “It’s the prices, stupid.“The study, also written by Gerard Anderson, Peter Hussey and Varduhi Petrosyan, found thatpeople in the United States typically use about the same amount of health care as peoplein other wealthy countries do, but pay a lot more for it.

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