per capita

U.S. health costs, already highest, rising faster as well

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While health spending is rising faster than incomes in most developed countries, it is rising fastest in the United States, which already spends far more per person than any other country, according to a report prepared by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

 

Total Health Expenditure per Capita, U.S. and Selected Countries, 2008

Total Health Expenditure per Capita, U.S. and Selected Countries, 2008

“Since 1980, the U.S. also has had among the highest average annual growth rates in per capita spending on health care,” the report notes. “Despite this relatively high level of spending, the U.S. does not appear to provide substantially greater health resources to its citizens or achieve substantially better health benchmarks, compared to other developed countries.”

Growth in Total Health Expenditure Per Capita, U.S. and Selected Countries, 1970-2008

The report concludes:

Faced with expanding public deficits, and growing health care costs, American policy makers may elect to examine the tools employed by other countries to rein in costs. The growing difference between America’s spending and other developed countries may encourage an examination of what people in the U.S. are getting for their healthcare dollar.

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