Monday, September 03, 2012

Health Care Cost Comparison

Since health care is going to be a big topic in the 2012 U.S. Presidential election, and since I've had several discussions about health care with friends over the years, it's probably a good idea to round up some data.

Fortunately, we have the CIA World Factbook, which lists all sorts of demographic information, including health care cost as a percentage of GDP, life expectancy, infant mortality rates, etc., for every country in the world.

On this page I've listed relevant data from every country that has a GDP of $1 trillion ($ 1012) or more. I've even made it sortable: click on a column, and you can arrange it in ascending or descending order. The highlighted column headers give popup notes on what's in each column.

So, for example, if you click on Annual Health Care Cost per Person until the up arrow shows, you'll find that the United States leads the pack with a whopping $7,938/person in health care costs per year.

If, on the other hand, you click on Life Expectancy, you'll see that this lands us in ninth place, over five years behind Japan.

I'll let you draw your own conclusions, but it seems to me that our health care is horribly overpriced.

And I'm not going to hype any particular solution. Maybe a form of Romney's Massachusetts health plan, or Obama's modification of it on the national scale, will work. Maybe privatization of the whole system, including Medicare and Medicaid, will work.

I'll just point out that in the U.S. we have a life expectancy of 78.5 years, at a cost of $7,938/year. In the United Kingdom, life expectancy is 80.1 years, and they pay $3,404/year, according to the CIA. And we all know about the setup of the British Health Service.


World Healthcare Costs

Click on a column to sort

For data on nearly every nation in the world, see www.rcjhawk.us/healthcare.


Country Population Life
Expectancy
Infant Mortality
per 1,000
live births
GDP/Capita This is what the CIA defines as purchasing power parity GDP, i.e., actual purchasing power in dollars, not the legal exchange rate. GDP (M$) This is just population times GDP per capita. Since that's the purchasing power parity GDP, this won't be exactly equal to published results, set, e.g. China. Health Care
Fraction
of GDP
Annual
Health Care This is just GDP per capita times the Fraction of the GDP consumed by health care. Approximate, to be sure, but probably within 10-20% of actual cost.

per Person
Brazil 199,321,413 72.79 20.50 $11,900 $2,371,925 9.00% $1,071
Canada 34,300,083 81.48 4.85 $41,100 $1,409,733 10.90% $4,480
China 1,343,239,923 74.84 15.62 $8,500 $11,417,539 4.60% $391
France 65,630,692 81.46 3.37 $35,600 $2,336,453 3.50% $1,246
Germany 81,305,856 80.19 3.51 $38,400 $3,122,145 8.10% $3,110
India 1,205,073,612 67.14 46.07 $3,700 $4,458,772 2.40% $89
Indonesia 248,645,008 71.62 26.99 $4,700 $1,168,632 5.50% $258
Iran 78,868,711 70.35 41.11 $13,200 $1,041,067 3.90% $515
Italy 61,261,254 81.86 3.36 $30,900 $1,892,973 5.10% $1,576
Japan 127,368,088 83.91 2.21 $35,200 $4,483,357 9.30% $3,274
Korea, South 48,860,500 79.30 4.08 $32,100 $1,568,422 6.50% $2,086
Mexico 114,975,406 76.66 16.77 $14,800 $1,701,636 13.80% $2,042
Russia 142,517,670 66.46 9.88 $17,000 $2,422,800 5.40% $918
Spain 47,042,984 81.27 3.37 $31,000 $1,458,333 9.70% $3,007
Turkey 79,749,461 72.77 23.07 $14,700 $1,172,317 6.70% $985
United Kingdom 63,047,162 80.17 4.56 $36,600 $2,307,526 9.30% $3,404
United States 313,847,465 78.49 5.98 $49,000 $15,378,526 16.20% $7,938

This really being a notebook on how to do things with computers, here are the tricks I used:

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