NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

U.S. Competitive without Medical Monopoly

December 16, 2010

The lack of a government monopoly system in health care, some charge, harms American competitiveness.  But that argument fails to hold up, according to John R. Graham, director of health care studies at the Pacific Research Institute.

U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is higher than that of other nation, largely because of American productivity.

  • U.S. GDP per person employed in 2008 was $65,480.
  • Even other developed countries just produce between 60 percent and 90 percent of the value that the United States does per hour worked.
  • One hour of work in Germany produces just 72 percent of the output of an hour of work in America.
  • It's perfectly natural that the richest country spends more on health care than less productive ones.

In the United States, we earn significantly more income than workers in other countries, even after paying for health care. 

  • U.S. GDP per capita is still more than $6,000 more than in Germany -- after subtracting health spending in both countries.
  • It's more than $8,000 more than in France, $5,000 more than in Great Britain and $4,500 more than in Canada.

Although many Americans suffer without the means to pay for their health care, this is largely a consequence of misguided government intrusion.  The solution to government failure is not more government, which ObamaCare imposes.  Congress should repeal this scheme and implement reforms that reduce government power.  That will make for better health care and preserve -- or increase -- American productivity and competitiveness, says Graham.

Source: John R. Graham, "U.S. Competitive without Medical Monopoly," Washington Times, December 10, 2010.

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