Health care’s ‘upstream’ conundrum

January 10, 2018

David H. Freedman, co-founder and Executive Editor of Global HealthCare Insights Magazine, writes in Politico (1/10, 3.22M) that the US “pays three times as much per citizen as the average of other wealthy nations – far more than even the second-highest spender, Switzerland, adding up to $3 trillion a year,” although “for all that enormous expenditure, we come in dead last among those nations in lifespan.” Freedman calls this “a frustrating puzzle,” and argues it is becoming increasingly clear that “there’s a bigger reason for our uniquely poor showing, one that has been staring us in the face for years.” He says that despite the US’ large expenditure on health, “when it comes to spending on social services – education, subsidized housing, food assistance and more – we rank in the bottom 10 among developed countries.” Freedman adds that there is growing evidence indicating that a higher investment in social services would improve national health more than direct investment in the sector.

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Last modified on 01/12/2018

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