CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta looks at why is health care in the United States so expensive and why its such a difficult system to fix.
The United States spends $3.2 trillion per year on health care (17.8% GDP), which is about $9,900 per person.
The United States spends more money on health care than any other country in the world, but the efficiency of our health care system ranks 37th in the world, according to the World Health Organization.
Prescription prices are set by the drug manufacturers in the United States, except for situations involving Medicaid and the Veteran’s Administration. In most other countries, there are negotiations for lower rates.
Administrative costs are also high because of a complicated billing system with varying situations for obtaining deductibles or insurance payments.
Many patients in the United States are referred to specialists, who are more expensive; while in many countries primary care doctors take care of more patients.
Many times treatments prescribed are newer and more expensive, but they aren’t more effective than older, cheaper methods.
Defensive medicine also causes doctors to order more tests that might not be necessary in order to protect themselves from liability and lawsuits.
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Why the U.S. pays more for health care than the rest of the world (April 27, 2017)