America’s broken healthcare system – in one simple chart

The US spends more money on healthcare than any other wealthy nation. But it hasn’t resulted in better health

Healthcare in America is more expensive than in any other rich country. In 2016, the average American spent $4,571 on their health – a figure five times higher than the average out-of-pocket spending of other countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

That fact hasn’t changed much over the years: compared to 35 other countries, Americans have spent more on their health every year since 2000. Even once you factor in government spending, healthcare in the US is still more expensive than elsewhere. Total health spending last year, including private out-of-pocket and government spending, was $8,985 per person in the US while the OECD average was just $3,633.

And yet all that health spending hasn’t resulted in better health. The life expectancy of the average American is 78.8 years, putting the US a fraction ahead of the Czech Republic, where out of pocket spending was just $236 last year.