6 Crazy Truths About Healthcare in America

by Ryan McQuaid

You’ve probably heard that Americans spend more on healthcare than any other country in the world, but exactly how much are we spending on healthcare and what are some other harsh truths about the healthcare system and health spending in this country? Read on to find out what we discovered.

  1. We Skip Doctor’s Visits Because We Can’t Afford to Pay For Them

Did you know that 30% of all Americans skip visiting the doctor because of the costs associated? It’s true. And for Americans who have no health insurance, the numbers are even worse: 60% skip care due to the concern over costs.

2. We Spend $2.8 Trillion on HealthCare Every Year

Yep, $2.8 Trillion. America, which, despite Obamacare, still has a largely a private health care system spends more, as a percent of the economy, on its public healthcare system than Canada, the UK, Japan, and Australia — countries where the healthcare system is almost entirely public.

3. 30% of Annual HealthCare Spending in America, or $765 Billion, is Wasted

For every three doctors in the US there are two administrative staff to handle all the paperwork associated with the varying prices different health insurance plans charge for the same services like scans, surgeries, etc. This extra need for administration in addition to other unnecessary costs adds up and create $765 billion annually in wasted spending.

4. We Live Shorter Lives Than Most Other Developed Nations in the World

Despite the enormous amounts of money America spends on healthcare, it doesn’t make us any healthier. The US ranks 34th in the world for life expectancy, below many other developed nations, including Germany, Norway, Canada, and Australia. We fare only slightly better for infant mortality, where we rank 29th in the world, tied with Poland and Slovakia.

5. 440,000 Annual Deaths in America Are Attributed to Negligent Care in Hospitals

Know someone who went to a hospital to seek treatment, only to become more ill or even die? Turns out the numbers are higher than most of us think. A recent study revealed that between 210,000 and 440,000 people die every year from negligent care in hospitals, which equates to ⅙ of all annual deaths in America.

6. 50% of healthcare Spending Goes Towards 5% of the Population

While America spends a lot on healthcare, the spending isn’t evenly distributed. Around half of the population spends approximately $236 per person every year, but 5% of the population spends $40,000 per person every year. And it’s not the healthier and wealthier individuals who spend more. It tends to be patients who are older and living with multiple chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart diseases, and high blood pressure.

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