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Commonwealth Fund Analysis Finds US Health Care Spending High, But Worse Outcomes

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A new brief from The Commonwealth Fund, found the U.S. spends nearly 18 percent of GDP on health care, yet Americans die younger and are less healthy than residents of other high-income countries.

A cross-national comparison of health care systems to assess U.S. health spending, outcomes, status, and service use relative to Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, found that not only does the U.S. have the lowest life expectancy among high-income countries, but it also has the highest rates of avoidable deaths. Researchers also compared U.S. health system performance to the OECD average for the 38 high-income countries for which data are available. The data for this analysis come from the 2022 release of health statistics compiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and other international sources. For every metric examined, researchers used the latest data available. This means that results for certain countries may reflect the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when mental health conditions were surging, essential health services were disrupted, and patients may not have received the same level of care.

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