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The US Health Care System Is Fundamentally Flawed

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Health Issues page and our Politics and Democracy page.

Americans spend twice as much on health care per capita than any other country in the world; in fact, according to a series of studies by the consulting firm McKinsey & Co, the US spends more on health care than the next 10 biggest spenders combined: Japan, Germany, France, China, the U.K., Italy, Canada, Brazil, Spain, and Australia.

Other astounding statistics include:

The US spends more than 17 percent of our gross domestic product (GDP) on healthcare1     
If the US health care system was a country, it would be the 6th largest economy on the entire planet2     
While the US makes up only five percent of the world's population, Americans consume over 50 percent of all the world's pharmaceutical drugs    
Overall, Americans also pay 50 percent more than other countries for identical drugs, as a result of laws and regulations preventing the US government from reining in drug prices like other nations do

Despite all of this spending and pill-popping, the US ranks dead last in terms of quality of care among industrialized countries, and Americans are far sicker and live shorter lives than people in other nations. Clearly, we have taken a wrong turn down the wrong road somewhere...