While the United States has high absolute spending on health care at least a dozen industrialized countries had faster percentage growth rates in health care costs from 1990 to 2007. South Korea at 9.6%, Ireland at 9.0%, Poland at 7.8%, Norway at 7.6%, and Greece at 7.1% are among the countries that surpass the US at 5.8%.
Rapidly developing countries like South Korea, Poland, and Ireland have rapidly growing buying power. People are spending more of each marginal dollar on health care as more basic needs are already satisfying. Plus, some of these countries have more rapidly aging populations. So these results are not surprising.
What would be more useful: a chart plotting percentage of GDP spent on health care versus absolute per capita GDP. Though such a chart would still not capture the effect of different age distributions or health habits of different populaces. Some countries are more sick because more smoke or more are obese.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2009 September 14 11:09 PM Economics Health|