Everyone who goes to get a prescription, pays a health insurance premium or pays for doctor visits knows that the cost for these healthcare items continues to rise. When the Affordable Care Act was passed, it was hoped that it would help to bring some healthcare costs done. It has shown no appreciable effect.
A study just released in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows that the United States is spending more than ten other wealthy nations in the study on healthcare. Even though the United States is spending more money on healthcare, the United States is seeing fewer results as a result of the additional spending.
Some might attribute the increase in spending to a difference in levels of utilization. However, the JAMA study shows that levels of healthcare utilization were similar in the United States and the ten other nations included. The ten nations included with the United States in the study were the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Sweden, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Denmark.
One of the major areas were the United States spent more was in the area of drugs. Even though the Unites States uses more generic drugs than the other ten countries, the average healthcare consumer spent much more. The average drug cost for a year in the United States was $1,443 compared to just $749 for the other nations on average.
Administration costs also contributed to the US having a higher spending rate. In the US, about eight percent of GDP was spent on healthcare administration costs. The average for the other ten nations was just three percent.
Compensation was the other key factor in the higher rate of US healthcare spending. Doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers are paid much more in the US than those in the other ten countries.
Even though the cost of healthcare is much higher in the United States, those in the United States aren’t living any longer, and infant mortality is higher. Life expectancy in the US is 78.8 years. The average of the other ten nations in the JAMA study was 81.7 years. In infant mortality, the rate of infant mortality in the US was 5.8 per 1,000 live births while in the other nations it was 3.6 per 1,000 live births.