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News Link • Healthcare

America: First In Health Care Spending, Last In Life Expectancy

•, By Dr. David Brownstein
The article quoted a World Health Organization annual report which was released last Thursday.

With the amount of money spent on health care, you would think that the U.S. should be, at least, one of the top ten countries for life expectancy.  You would think wrong. Americans spend over 18% of our gross national product on health care.  While we make up 5% of the world’s population, we consume over 50% of the world’s pharmaceutical drugs.  You would think if those drugs improved our lives and adequately treated chronic disorders, we would be at the top of the life expectancy chart.  Again, you would think wrong.

In fact, the U.S. spends more on health care than the next nine biggest spenders combined:  Japan, France, China, UK, Italy, Canada, Brazil, Spain, and Australia. As can be seen from the picture, the U.S. does not rank in the top ten countries for either male or female life expectancy.  In fact, we rank 37th overall, tied with Cuba, Costa Rica, Nauru, Qatar, and Columbia. 

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