U.S. Health Spending Is Not an Economic Burden
We Should Examine Control over Health Care Dollars, Not Just Growth of Spending: NCPA
April 20, 2016
The assumption that health spending influences economic growth for better or worse is too simple, and could lead to detrimental policy recommendations, according to a new study by National Center for Policy Analysis Senior Fellow John R. Graham.
“The U.S. spends a lot more on health care than any other country. However, that does not 'take away' from other spending. On the contrary, incomes in the U.S. have increased significantly since 1960,” says Graham.
Although health spending has taken a larger share of our incomes, the pie has been growing at an even faster rate for Americans than in other nations.
- The average Canadian, who experiences 'free' health care from a so-called 'single-payer' system, has only $38,132 of income left, after subtracting the amount spent on health.
- In the United Kingdom, GDP per capita after health spending was only $34,863.
- However, the average American has an income of $44,049 after subtracting the amount spent on health.
“Although government control of health care is higher in other developed countries, most of those countries also let patients control a higher share of health spending than the United States does,” says Graham. “This patient control is likely a factor in keeping health spending lower than in the United States.”