Source of graph: online version of the WSJ article cited below.
When it comes to managing its citizens’ health, the U.S. is a model of inefficiency.
Recently released figures from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services show that in 2005, the U.S. health-care tab came to 16% of gross domestic product, more than any other country. France spends 10.5% of its GDP on health care, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, while Japan spends 8%.
Americans don’t seem to be getting much for the money. In both France and Japan, the average life expectancy is higher than in the U.S., and the infant mortality rate is lower. This is true in most other OECD countries, so green tea and red wine don’t explain it all.
This is a drag on U.S. companies, raising their costs, pulling money out of consumer pockets and giving overseas firms a competitive edge.
For the full commentary, see:
JUSTIN LAHART. "AHEAD OF THE TAPE; Rethinking Health Care And the GDP." The Wall Street Journal (Thurs., January 25, 2007): C1.