Curious Capitalist

Why Healthcare in America Is So Expensive

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Tomas Bercic / Getty Images

America spends 19% of its gross domestic product on healthcare. The rest of the developed world spends around 11% to 12% and countries like Singapore, which have high quality care, spend around just 5%. The question for so many is, why? Why does America spend more and have worse health outcomes? And how are healthcare costs affecting our national competitiveness and economic growth? To find out, watch TIME economic columnist Rana Foroohar discuss the topic with some of the world’s top healthcare experts: Steven Brill, Ezekiel Emanuel, and William Haseltine, at the Council on Foreign Relations’s Renewing America panel on the cost of healthcare.

7 comments
IrishinToronto
IrishinToronto

Easy - the US system is the only one that is entirely for-profit with no regulation on prices.  All companies involved in the health care sector, charge as much as they can for the poorest service they can get away with giving so that they can maximize profits.  And no one will tell them they can't do this.

paulgeorges
paulgeorges

Guess how much is paid a doctor ? In Japan it's less and cure are better and cheaper . To pay more doesn't mean to get better services it means only richer doctors who will continue to complain it's not enough when someone can't afford to even pay to a visit not to speak about drugs ! Nowaday if you are wealthy you can get good advices and good services if no you have to read a lot and be suspicious about some kind of doctors and laboratories !

daniel.madden11
daniel.madden11

@paulgeorges Although I agree that the amount docs get paid in our country is high, the cost of earning a medical degree/training physicians is also extremely pricey.

paulgeorges
paulgeorges

@daniel.madden11 @paulgeorges Protection money ?Do I have to pay all my life for your study as a protection  if so why don't I get my money back if you are wrong and make mistakes  ? 

jad.ufl
jad.ufl

@Rangerboy Let's face it, doctors are paid very well, and yes, many are overpaid.  Unfortunately, there are not enough graduating docs who want to go into primary care.  Every year, there are many unfilled residency training slots in family medicine and internal medicine.  

Many feel that if they have to work as hard as they do, why not work a little harder and go for the higher paid specialties (surgery, anes, radiology, OB, etc) or sub specialties. What's 2-4 more years of training when you can easily get 2-3 TIMES the salary of a primary care doc.  On top of that, those jobs (from what I've heard) seem to be cushier once you're practicing... no need to see as many patients in order to increase your "productivity."  Obviously, there's greater risk... but the greater the risks & sacrifices the greater the reward.

Rangerboy
Rangerboy

Insurance companies add 15 % and merely shuffle papers.  Drug companies discourage generic drugs.  Insurance companies take bribes to keep generics and other low-cost devices off of their formulary.   Needless tests are performed because fees are paid for such services.  Doctors are overpaid and intentionally keep their numbers down to keep their salaries up.  There are not enough primary doctors..