U.S. health care spending in an international context: Why is U.S. spending so high, and can we afford it?

Uwe E. Reinhardt, Peter S. Hussey, Gerard F. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Using the most recent data on health spending published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), we explore reasons why U.S. health spending towers over that of other countries with much older populations. Prominent among the reasons are higher U.S. per capita gross domestic product (GDP) as well as a highly complex and fragmented payment system that weakens the demand side of the health sector and entails high administrative costs. We examine the economic burden that health spending places on the U.S. economy. We comment on attempts by U.S. policy-makers to increase the prices foreign health systems pay for U.S. prescription drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-25
Number of pages16
JournalHealth Affairs
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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