US spends more on healthcare but expenditures are an asset, not a burden

Although many critics argue the U.S. healthcare system is too expensive, a  new study finds that while the nation spends far more on healthcare per capita than any other country, that spending is the result--not the cause--of other economic activity.

The study, from the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), a right-of-center think tank, says individual Americans actually have more income left over after healthcare expenditures than the average Canadian or Brit.

"The U.S. spends a lot more on healthcare than any other country. However, that does not 'take away' from other spending. On the contrary, incomes in the U.S. have increased significantly since 1960," study author John Graham said in a statement.

Of 13 major developed nations, Norway and Switzerland were the only ones to increase their non-health spending gross domestic product per capita more than the U.S. between 1960 and 2013, according to the study.

Although the study mentions prior research performed by the Commonwealth Fund, it fails to mention that those studies not only said the U.S. spent more on healthcare than other industrialized nation, but that it is dead last in the quality of care delivered.

The NCPA study also did not mention that Americans spend a significant portion of their own incomes on out-of-pocket costs--nearly $1,100 in 2013. Only the Swiss spend more. Private expenditure for premiums, at more than $3,400, were more than five times higher than Canada.

To learn more:
- read the report (.pdf)
- here's the statement