Analyzing Healthcare Heading Into Next Year's Election
Added 09-12-19 12:16:01am EST - “It may seem like just yesterday that you were watching Election Night coverage as Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States of America. It may also seem like the next Presidential election is a long way away. However,…” - Dailycaller.com
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It may seem like just yesterday that you were watching Election Night coverage as Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States of America. It may also seem like the next Presidential election is a long way away. However, if you’ve watched the news lately, or even gone on social media, you know that coverage of the 2020 election is picking up speed every single day. As we move closer to November 2020, issues that hold the most importance to voters will rise to the surface and become the subject of much debate not only among Presidential and Congressional candidates, but also among the American people, for whom the issue holds a crucial importance in their everyday life.
One issue that is sure to be a hot topic as we barrel towards next year’s election season is an issue that has been a hot topic for more than a decade now: healthcare. Both sides of the political spectrum can agree that Americans are spending too much money on their healthcare expenses. This fact can’t be argued when you compare the amount spent by the United States to the amount spent by similar countries such as Canada and various Western European countries.
According to the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker, the average health spending per person in the United States was $10,224 in 2017, which was 28% higher than Switzerland, the second highest per capita spender. The amount spent per person in the United States is almost double what is spent in comparable countries, which average $5,280 per person. An even starker contrast is seen when comparing the United States with the United Kingdom, which spends only $4,246 per person on health expenditures.
This gap in healthcare spending has become more pronounced in the past four decades, with much of the disparity occurring in the 1980s. In the decades leading up to the 1980s, the United States was tracing very closely with many European countries’ annual growth rate of per capita health expenditures. Then, everything changed in the 1980s, when the United States’ per capita health expenditures grew by 10% while the rate for comparable countries grew by only 7%. In the nearly three decades since the 1980s, the United States’ rate has fallen back in line with those comparable countries.
The major difference proliferating the United States’ average health expenditures per person is the private healthcare spending. Private healthcare spending in the United States accounts for 8.8% of GDP, compared to an average of 2.7% for comparable countries. By contrast, public healthcare spending in the United States is essentially equal with comparable countries in terms of the percentage of GDP. Since 1970, private sector healthcare spending in the United States has increased from 3.9% of GDP to its current rate of 8.8%. Public sector healthcare spending in the United States accounts for 8.5% of GDP, making the United States the only OCED country to have greater private sector healthcare spending than public sector healthcare spending.
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