Health Care_Paperwork

Does the U.S. Spend More Per Person on Health Care Without Better Outcomes?

Nov 14, 2015 | Other Spending

In the November 14 Democratic debate, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said the United States spends more per person on health care than any other major country without necessarily better outcomes. Assuming if Sanders means national health care spending and not just federal spending, then this statement is true.

According to data from the World Health Organization, the United States spent about $9,000 per person in 2013. This level of per person spending is an outlier even compared to other high income nations. The next nearest country in 2013 was Luxemburg, which spent about $6,500 per person

Using another set of data, among countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United States spends $8,713 per person. That is double the average of $3,453. The next closest OECD nation in per person healthcare spending is Switzerland, which only spends $6,325 per person.

Chart from PGPF.org

Several studies suggest that United States is not getting better outcomes for this additional cost and may even have inferior health outcomes than a number of lower-spending countries.

Ruling: Largely True