Public Health Expenditures – Apples to Apples Edition
November 11, 2016 Health Care

Friday Fun Fact:

Where does the United States rank in the world in terms of public health dollars as a share of GDP? That is, think of Medicare, Medicaid, the VA and related medical expenses and how large a share of GDP do they comprise?

We rank (ignoring the tiny little countries like the Maldives and such) … tenth. 

At 8.3% of GDP, the US ranks between Norway and Belgium. Above us are Cuba, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, New Zealand, France, Austria, Germany and Japan. Below us are England, Canada and Finland.

We’d surely rank at the top of the list already if we had full-blown “single-payer” for what it’s worth.

"2" Comments
  1. Interesting statistics. As a reminder, however, these are only expenditures. As I believe you have pointed out yourself, costs are something altogether different; such the cost of standing in line waiting for a medical procedure. Is it even possible to quantify such costs? If not I often question the usefulness of quantifying expenditures alone.

    • You are EXACTLY right … you can’t understand anything about health care without understanding the resources used to deliver particular outcomes. I should have caveated this post with saying, “I’m playing on “their” turf at the moment.

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