why does healthcare cost so much in the us

The United States spends twice as much on healthcare as 10 other high-income nations, driven by the high price of everything from prescription drugs to doctorsБ salaries, a new study in the
finds. Recent attempts to reform American healthcare have assigned blame for the high cost of care to nearly every sector Б from to to. However, a co-author of the new study said those arguments ignore the Б800-pound gorillaБ: sky-high prices everywhere. БMost countries get to lower prices one of two ways: they either have a very strong price setter, usually a government agency, or more efficient markets,Б said Dr Ashish Jha, co-author of the study by researchers at HarvardБs TH Chan School of Public. БThe US has figured out how to do the worst of both. Б In the study, America was compared to 10 other countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Australia, Japan, Sweden, France, Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland.


Researchers used 98 indicators to compare countries across seven areas: general spending, population health, structural capacity, utilization, pharmaceuticals, access and quality and equity. The majority of the data came from international organizations, such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. What researchers found was not a single sector with high prices, but that every sector had extraordinary price tags. For example, the average salary for a general practice physician in the other countries was between $86,607 and $154,126. In the US, the average salary was $218,173. Per capita spending for prescription drugs in other nations ranged from $466 to $939.


In the US, per capita spending was $1,443. The US also spends more on administrative costs. Other nations spend between 1%-3% to administer their health plans. Administrative costs are 8% of total health spending in the US. This results in US health costs that, as a percentage of gross domestic product, are nearly double that of other nations. In 2016, the US spent 17. 8% of GDP, compared to 9. 6%-12. 4% in other countries. At the same time, America often had the worst population health outcomes, and worst overall health coverage. The US ranked last in life expectancy; had the worst (nearly triple that of the United Kingdom); more infant deaths than any other country, and a high rate of low birth weight babies.


Other countries had universal, or near universal, health insurance rates. The US ranked last. Just 90% of Americans have health insurance, leaving about without access to healthcare. Jha said whether the US moves toward more, as advocated by Republicans, or to, as advocated by liberal Democrats, price tags on all American health services need to be addressed. БIБm happy to move in either direction that will allow for lower prices, but right now weБre not even having that debate,Б said Jha. БWeБre fighting over all sorts of other things. Б The studyБs possible weaknesses include comparability of data, with different countries having БmodestБ differences in data collection. The price of medical care is the single biggest factor behind U. S. healthcare costs, accounting for 90% of spending.


These expenditures reflect the cost of caring for those with chronic or long-term medical conditions, an aging population and the increased cost of new medicines, procedures and technologies. Also, healthcare reform law has expanded access to insurance to millions of Americans. Weвve transitioned to a healthcare system in which everyone can obtain health insurance regardless of age or health status, and many individuals who are newly insured need ongoing medical attention. and curbing healthcare costs. Our healthcare system must focus more on quality care for patients that helps them get healthy faster and stay healthy longer. Meanwhile, everyone can lower their risk of developing many costly chronic diseases by adopting healthier lifestyles.

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