Submitted by Taps Coogan on the 26th of February 2018 to The Sounding Line.
The following interactive chart, from Our World in Data, shows average healthcare costs per capita versus average life expectancy for 20 developed economies around the world from 1970 until 2015. By sliding the blue bar under the chart and pressing play, you can see how the healthcare costs and life expectancy of each country change over time.
The chart illustrates that the US is spending more than twice as much money per capita on healthcare compared to most other developed countries while experiencing a shorter life expectancy than most. While the quality of a country’s healthcare system is not the only factor in determining life expectancy (obesity rates, substance abuse, murder rates, conflicts, etc… all play a part), it is not a good sign that Americans are paying far more to live shorter than average lives. To make matters worse, after the data set stops in 2015, life expectancy in the US fell for the second time in 50 years and healthcare costs exploded even higher.
It probably won’t shock readers to learn that the acceleration in US healthcare spending per capita has continued since 2010, when the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was signed into law, taking an already broken system and making it worse. We discussed why Obamacare has contributed to rising costs and what could be done to fix it in detail here. Suffice it to say that the US is in need of a major healthcare system overhaul.
It is also worth noting that since the financial crisis struck Greece in 2008 and destroyed the country’s economy, spending on healthcare has plunged by 36% yet life expectancy has continued to rise by nearly two years.
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