What are the Implications of US Healthcare Spending on the Elderly?

The United States spends a lot more on healthcare than many of our peer countries.

Some people believe that most of us are getting more health services; others believe we’re mostly paying a lot more per person for the same services. Some see both. Yet others worry that those paying for healthcare are paying more to cover those that don’t have insurance.

As we explored some potential causes of US healthcare spending, we came across a very interesting graph. Thanks to readers Chris G, Chris M, and Jack W for the inspiration:

health-spending-by-age.jpg

Graph by Paul Fishbeck

The data show that while the US does spend a little more for healthcare, it is very close to peer nations up until the mid-fifties.  How well do you think this is well understood in your community?

Now comes the really interesting part: after the mid-fifties, US healthcare spending per person breaks away from its peers. Why might the difference be so great in the United States? What is different about how we provide healthcare for our elderly?

Which differences between the spending between the US and other countries (your own, if you live overseas) might make you proud, and which concerned?

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Erik Fogg

US political and cultural dialogue is broken, and we intend to change that. We're starting by giving you Something to Consider.