Wednesday, April 20, 2016

U.S. Health Spending Not An Economic Burden

Health spending consumes a higher share of output in the United States than in other countries. In 2013, it accounted for 17 percent of Gross Domestic Product. The next highest country was France, where health spending accounted for 12 percent of GDP. Critics of U.S. health care claim this shows the system is too expensive and a burden on our economy, demanding even more government intervention. This conclusion is misleading and leads to poor policy recommendations.

But compared to larger developed countries, Americans have higher income per capita after subtracting health care spending. For example, in the United Kingdom, GDP per capita after health spending was only $34,863 in 2013. So, even though Americans spent significantly more on health care than the British, the average American enjoyed $9,185 more GDP after health spending than his British peer; and just under $6,000 more than his Canadian neighbor.

Read the entire column at Forbes.

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