Why does the USA spend so much more on healthcare than the UK?

Question by sashmead2001: Why does the USA spend so much more on healthcare than the UK?
The UK spends 8.9% of its Gross Domestic Product on healthcare, 83% of this funded by the state. This equates to $ 2992 dollars per person.

The US spends 16% of its GDP on healthcare, the majority of it through private health services. This equates to $ 7290 per person per year. This is the most expensive healthcare system in the world.

Why is there such a disparity in expenditure on healthcare? Why does the UK and all other G7 countries have a higher life expectancy than the US? Why does the US spend more than $ 2500 per head more than the next country, Norway?

And why, given how costly the American health service is, are there so many people who aren’t able to access adequate healthcare?

(All statistics from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development)
@goodluckwiththat: Yes, the OECD has its headquarters in Paris, but it’s an international organisation which the US is a member of. Secondly, I doubt that the OECD would make up statistics. I can assure you that elderly people in the UK are not left to die. My grandmother has been in hospital probably around 10 times in the last two years and has never been denied care.

Best answer:

Answer by William K
The US comes up with almost all new treatments and medications, which other countries then use without the expense of research and development. For this reason alone, the US going socialized will kill many people worldwide who won’t benefit from new advances that our capitalist system would have created over the next few decades.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

5 comments on “Why does the USA spend so much more on healthcare than the UK?

  1. As I’m sure you’re aware, the answer is simple, “single payer” systems work. They work so well that the US is the ONLY industrialized country without it.

    Buy why does it work? That’s the real question.

    Is it because everyone is forced to pay for a service that they will use so no one gets a free ride?

    Is it because buying in such huge numbers provides benefits through economies of scale?

    Is it because a large group has the negotiating power to make sure Tylenol doesn’t cost $ 400?

  2. i would point out that your medical companies are the best investment in the stock markets at present, showing that they take a good profit from their customers.
    this in a time when the economy is in a terrible mess .

  3. First, the US is bigger than the UK and Norway. Therefore, there are more people. According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs list, the US is the third largest in population, behind only China and India with an estimated 308,924,000 billion people. The UK, in comparison, ranks 22nd on the list, even behind France and Norway ranks 116th. More people/more spending on healthcare.

    Secondly, the US doesn’t leave it up to a businessman to decide where the money should be spent and how. Treatment tends to be started immediately with a doctor as opposed to someone in a clinic in the UK and being put on a waiting list to see a doctor. The States hasn’t denied old people healthcare because statistics show that they are more likely to die soon so the cost isn’t worth it. That saves a lot of money.

    Thirdly, your source for your statistics is French-based and therefore, biased toward a socialist system. Obviously, their statistics would be skewed to support their way of doing things, which is subsidized by the government which gets it’s money through a 21% social tax and as much as a 50% income tax or the French actually can pay HALF of their income in taxes! That’s without the VAT tax of almost 20% of things like food! Norway has an income tax of almost 50% and a VAT tax of as much as 25%. The UK also has a 50% income tax, a VAT tax of as high as 17.5% and they also pay 24% for their national insurance. I’m surprised they have any money left to do anything. In comparison, the US has a federal tax rate of 35% of income and state taxes average around 10% on income. Therefore, we pay for our healthcare instead of being taxed out the wazzoo–so far–and then having the government decided what care we deserve. If I were paying 75% in taxes to the government and the government would then deny me adequate, immediate, and the highest quality healthcare, I’d be just a little ticked off.

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