US spends twice as much as other wealthy countries on health care
The Hill
March 13, 2018

The United States spent twice as much on health care than ten other high-income countries in 2016, largely because of the high costs of prescription drugs, administrative overhead and labor, a new study released Tuesday indicates.

While Americans don’t use more services than people in high-income countries, the U.S.’s overall health spending still topped that of the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The U.S. spent nearly 18 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health care in 2016.

Spending in other countries ranged from 9.6 percent of Australia’s GDP to 12.4 percent of Switzerland’s GDP.

In the U.S., high health-care spending is driven by expensive prescription drugs, high-paid health professionals and administrative costs.

Spending per capita for prescription drugs was $1,443 in the U.S., compared to a range of $466 to $939 in other countries, the study found.

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