Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Big White Whale

In a comment to my post about Greek healthcare spending a reader (thanks rufus) urged me consider the "whale", i.e. the good old USA.  So, here's a chart of such spending as a percentage of GDP for all countries in the world.  The data comes from the World Bank.

Oh yes, the US is indeed a whale all of its own, when it comes to expensive healthcare - the Moby Dick. 

I have included Canada in the chart, the acknowledged world leader in public healthcare, the golden standard.  Astonishing, isn't it?  Everyone there gets quality care, and overall it costs 40% less than the US.

As for Greece, it is astonishing to see it spends nearly the same as Canada or Switzerland, but... never mind the care you get...


  1. Couple the expense with the defacto rationing of care in the US and you have a (another) broken system.

    If you want to ague the "freedom of choice" in the US you haven't tried to get decent primary care in a while with a typical private health care insurance provider. Or maybe you have the gold plated Federal Government plan--the carte blanche plan.

    And that is part of the root of the problem. Traditional plans that pay for any whim of doctor or patient without care to cost or oversight.

    Also the wrong-headed idea that all capitalism is good all the time and Socialism is always evil. Must make profit off of peoples' health care.

    This is where we end up with such rigidity, half the service for twice the cost.

  2. 17 charts describing US broken health care system: