Back from my vacation/trip. No surprise – nothing has changed. Lots of bluster, lots of politics, little substance.
But one bit of data caught my eye while I was away. It has to do with life expectancy.
Before I show it to you, let me say that I know life expectancy is not a perfect metric of quality in a health care system. There are other factors that can effect the life expectancy of a population. That said, you would expect that we would do better than this:
That’s a slide I made using OECD Data that use regularly in talks about health care quality. You’re looking at the expected life expectancy of the total populations (at birth) of 8 of the richest 10 countries in the world. The United States not only has the lowest life expectancy, it has had the lowest consistently for a long time.
But this weekend, I saw something even more striking:
Here, you are looking at health care spending per person (on the left) versus life expectancy (on the right). Here are the take home points:
- The United States spends WAY more per person on health care than any other country.
- The United States has a pretty poor life expectancy, especially when you see how much we’re spending.
- The United States is the only country (besides Mexico) without universal health coverage.
- The United States has some of the lowest average number of doctor visits a year.
Can someone justify this for me? What’s the money for?