Posts Tagged international comparison

US Health-Care Costs — comparison of states

2009 Health Care Spending Per Capita

The graph is based on 2009 data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and displays the spending in dollars per person.  There is a spread of costs from state to state.  Key drivers for any state include spending for hospital care, prescription drugs and physician services.  Utah has the lowest spending with outstanding performance in all three areas.  Utah has an advantage of few smokers, few drinkers and few obese people.  The explanation in other states is not so clear.  States next to each other like Georgia and Florida have extremes of spending levels not easily explained on demographics.  Florida has high spending like the Northeast probably representing a migration of both doctors and patients with a culture of high cost services.  One would think Utah demonstrates the best efforts of US healthcare with favorable demographics.  But consider other countries.

International health care spending

In the light of other countries Utah should probably be more like Sweden that has spending of $3722 per person.   The public spending alone  in the US should be achieving good health care for everybody but sadly that is not the case.  Our overall health-care spending is so much higher than other countries it makes the state to state comparisons seem less important.   But, the US needs a goal.  So, lets take a shot at the goal:  every state should have a goal of $6000 per person like Colorado.  Well, Congress — get to work!

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International Comparison — sky high cost


The Washington Post has a couple of great articles about the cost of health care in which the US is compared to other countries.

The table below is from the first article listed above.

Click on the graph for an interactive version. (SOURCE: International Federation of Health Plans. GRAPHIC: Wilson Andrews - The Washington Post. Published March 2, 2012.)

Both articles are written by Ezra Klein.  The data itself comes from the International Federation of Health Plans.   Mr. Klein points out the US as a country does not have the financial controls common in other advanced countries.  He concludes the rate of growth in prices as well as the current prices of health care simply must be reduced.  Other countries should serve as a model.

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