Stethoscope on the Cardiogram

Health Care FACT Sheet

Vote for Facts and Critical Thinking

Austria

Australia

Belgium

Canada

Chile

Colombia

Czech Republic

Denmark

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Iceland

Ireland

Israel

Italy

Japan

South Korea

Luxembourg

Mexico

Netherlands

New Zealand

Norway

Poland

Portugal

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

Turkey

United Kingdom 

Estonia

Hungary

Latvia

Lithuania

Slovak Republic

Slovenia

the United States

Fact #1
The United States is one of a small handful of OECD countries that does
not guarantee its citizens health care coverage in some form.

Additional Information

The logistics of universal healthcare vary by country. Some programs are paid for entirely out of tax revenues. In others tax revenues are used either to fund insurance for the very poor or for those needing long term chronic care. In some cases such as the UK, government involvement also includes directly managing the health care system, but many countries use mixed public-private systems to deliver universal health care.

 

Alternatively, much of the provision of care can be contracted from the private sector, as in the case of Canada and France. In some instances, such as Italy and Spain, both these realities may exist at the same time.

 

The government may provide universal health insurance in the form of a social insurance plan that is affordable by all citizens, such as in the case of Germany and Taiwan, although private insurance may provide supplemental coverage to the public health plan.

 

In twenty five European countries, universal healthcare entails a government-regulated network of private insurance companies

section 1

The United States Compared to Other OECD Countries

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Fact #2
Relative to GDP, the United States
spends a significantly higher amount on health care compared to other OECD countries.

Health consumption expenditures per capita, U.S. dollars, PPP adjusted 2019

Additional Information

Over the past five decades, the difference between health spending as a share of the economy in the U.S. and comparable OECD countries has widened. In 1970, the U.S. spent about 6% of its GDP on health, similar to spending by several comparable countries (the average of comparably wealthy countries was 5% of GDP in 1970).

 

The U.S. was relatively on pace with other countries until the 1980s, when its health spending grew at a significantly faster rate relative to its GDP.

 

In 2019, the U.S. spent 17% of its GDP on health consumption, whereas the next highest comparable country (Switzerland) devoted 12% of its GDP to health spending.

Wealthy countries, including the U.S., tend to spend more per person on health care and related expenses than lower-income countries. However, even as a high-income country, the U.S. spends more per person on health than comparable countries. Health spending per person in the U.S. was $10,966 in 2019, which was 42% higher than Switzerland, the country with the next highest per capita health spending

Fact #3
Among 41 countries, the United States is the only country that
lacks any minimum amount of maternity leave for expecting mothers.

Additional Information

The U.S. is the only country among 41 nations that does not mandate any paid leave for new parents, according to data compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and current as of April 2018. The smallest amount of paid leave required in any of the other 40 nations is about two months. 

While paid leave is dominated by leave for mothers, leave specifically for fathers is now available in 34 of the 41 countries represented in the data. In most cases, the amount of paid leave specifically for fathers is relatively modest – about two weeks or less. However, there are a handful of exceptions. In Japan, almost half of all the available paid leave for new parents – 30 weeks – is earmarked for new fathers. And in Korea, men are allotted the equivalent of about 15 weeks of paid leave. Portugal, Norway, Luxembourg, Sweden and Iceland are also relatively generous in this regard, offering about two months of leave or more to new dads.

Fact #3
Among 41 countries, the United States is the only country that lacks any minimum amount of maternity leave for expecting mothers.

Additional Information

The U.S. is the only country among 41 nations that does not mandate any paid leave for new parents, according to data compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and current as of April 2018. The smallest amount of paid leave required in any of the other 40 nations is about two months. 

While paid leave is dominated by leave for mothers, leave specifically for fathers is now available in 34 of the 41 countries represented in the data. In most cases, the amount of paid leave specifically for fathers is relatively modest – about two weeks or less. However, there are a handful of exceptions. In Japan, almost half of all the available paid leave for new parents – 30 weeks – is earmarked for new fathers. And in Korea, men are allotted the equivalent of about 15 weeks of paid leave. Portugal, Norway, Luxembourg, Sweden and Iceland are also relatively generous in this regard, offering about two months of leave or more to new dads.

Fact #4

Adults from the United States have the highest chronic disease burden in comparison to other OECD countries

Health consumption expenditures per capita, U.S. dollars, PPP adjusted 2019

11-country average: 17.5%

Percent (%)

Additional Information

Worse health outcomes and shorter life expectancy appear related to risk factors and disease burden. More than one-quarter of U.S. adults report they have ever been diagnosed with two or more chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or hypertension during their lifetime compared to 22 percent or less in all other countries. This rate is twice as high as in the Netherlands and the U.K.

Fact #5

Adults from the United States have the lowest life expectancy in comparison to other OECD countries

Life Expectancy OECD Comparison

(Years)

OECD Average: 80.7 years

The United States

Additional Information

Despite the highest spending, Americans experience worse health outcomes than their international peers. For example, life expectancy at birth in the U.S. was 78.6 years in 2017 — more than two years lower than the OECD average and five years lower than Switzerland, which has the longest lifespan.

 

In the U.S., life expectancy masks racial and ethnic disparities. Average life expectancy among non-Hispanic black Americans (75.3 years) is 3.5 years lower than for non-Hispanic whites (78.8 years). Life expectancy for Hispanic Americans (81.8 years) is higher than for whites, and similar to that in Netherlands, New Zealand and Canada.

section 2

The United States Compared to Other OECD Countries

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Fact #6

The United States ranks last in HAQ, a measure of health care access and quality, indicating higher rates of amenable mortality than peer countries.

Healthcare Access and Quality (HAQ) Index Rating, 2016

(Scale 0-100)

Additional Information

Mortality amenable to healthcare is a measure of the rates of death considered preventable by timely and effective care. While the health care system might not be expected to prevent death in all instances, differences in amendable mortality indicate how effectively healthcare is delivered.

 

The Healthcare Access and Quality (HAQ) Index is scaled from 0 (worst) to 100 (best) and is based on amenable mortality. The HAQ index uses age-standardized, risk-standardized mortality rates for 32 causes of death that timely and effective health care could potentially prevent.

 

Lower scores indicate high mortality rates for causes amenable to health care, while higher scores indicate lower mortality rates, possibly reflecting better quality and access to care.

 

The U.S. ranks last among comparable countries on the HAQ index with a score of 88.7.

section 2

The United States Health Care Statistics

Fact #1

In 2015, about 10 out of every 100 adults aged 18-64 had difficulty accessing needed medical care due to cost, varying by region.

% of Adults Without Accessible Health Care in 2015

MIDWEST

9.9%

SOUTH

11.0%

WEST

9.5%

NORTHEAST

7.7%

Adults in the Northeast had the least difficulty accessing needed medical care due to cost in 2015

Adults in the South had the greatest difficulty accessing needed medical care due to cost in 2015

Additional Information

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Fact #2

Spending on prescription drugs has risen rapidly over past decades, increasing from $90 in 1960 to $1,025 in 2017 (adjusted for inflation)

Nominal and inflation-adjusted per capita spending on retail prescription drugs,

1960-2017

Inflation-adjusted prescription price

Nominal

prescription price

Additional Information

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Fact #3

uninsured 

1. Lg Group (Private)

2. Sm Group (Private)

3. Fed/State/Local Gov't

4. (Military - TriCare/VA)

100M (30.9%)

17M (5.3%)

22M (4.3%)

14M (4.3%)

5. Traditional (Seniors)

6. Advantage

7. Under 65

29.4M (9.1%)

17.2M (5.3%)

8.9M (2.8%)

8. Adults

9. Children

10. Pre-ACA CHIP

Employer

Medicare

Medicaid

11M (3.4%)

29.9M (9.3%)

8.1M (2.5%)

11. CHIP ACA Expansion

12. CHIP Woodworkers

13. Exchange (Subsidized)

14. Basic Health Program

11M (3.4%)

3M (0.9%)

9.1M (2.8%)

0.5M (0.2%)

Medicaid Post ACA

Other

18. IHS, Student, CH+, etc.

4M (1.2%)

Nominal and inflation-adjusted per capita spending on retail prescription dru

Uninsured

Exchange

15. Unsubsidized

16. OFF Exchange

17. GF/Transitional

11M (3.4%)

29.9M (9.3%)

8.1M (2.5%)

19. Medicaid Eligible

20. CHIP Eligible

21. Medicaid Gap

22. Undoc. Immigrants

23. Eligible for Tax Credits

24. Ineligible for Tax Credits

5M (1.5%)

3M (0.9%)

2.8M (0.9%)

4.7M (1.5%)

6.5M (2%)

7M (2.2%)

Additional Information

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