In comparison to other countries, our health care system is not always able to provide the best quality care, even though we have the highest health care costs in the world.

There are other things about our health care system that are a cause for concern:

Unequal Access

Our health care system is primarily based on employer-sponsored health insurance.  If an individual is unemployed, is not offered insurance through their employer, or has a pre-existing condition, it is difficult to get health coverage.

Fewer employers are offering insurance, so more workers are left without insurance.

Graph courtesy of U.S. Census Bureau Historical Health Insurance Tables

 

High Costs

Folks in the US pay more than any other country for health care, including out-of-pocket health care expenses.  See the following graphs courtesy of OECD to learn where we stand when compared to other countries.

 

Mediocre Health Outcomes

Even though we spend more than any other county on health care, we have lower life expectancies for both males and females, the largest percentage of the population who is obese, highest number of years of life lost due to diabetes, and the most years lost due to injury and medical conditions. (Graphs courtesy of OECD).

Lessons Learned

What is common among these nations that have better health outcomes and decreased cost? They cover the total population.

A health care system that does not cover everyone is more expensive.