The US spends $10,224 per person on Health Expenditure

Does the US really spend $10,224 per person on Health Expenditure?..

The headlines were saying that the US has the highest rate of Health Spending per person, with the total being..   $10,224, as an example below.

US Health Spending 2017

However, it might have been $10,739 per person, according to official figures.

Many people have been asking why the Healthcare system in the US is so bad for so many people, if the US spends Government spends that amount per person.
Furthermore, also asking why do people have to pay for their own healthcare, if the US spends so much more than any other country?

The quick answer is that the Government does NOT spend that amount per person, the actual amount might be more like $4,000 per person, from government sources.  Insurance and Individuals cover the rest.

US Health Expenditure from U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

According to an NHE Fact Sheet, U.S. health care spending in 2017 reached $3.5 trillion or $10,739 per person.

Figures from that fact sheet show the following breakdown of that spending:

20% Paid by Medicare.
17% Paid by Medicaid. (US federal and state program)
34% Paid by Private health insurance.
28% Paid by Individuals

That adds up to 99%, I guess there is a rounding difference.

The bottom line is that the Government pays about 37%, with individuals, together with their insurance, paying about 62%.  This would workout at:

$3,973 Government Contribution
$6,658 Individual and Insurance Contribution

As comparisons against other similar countries, the government contributions in PPP US$, for each country in 2017, were:

$3,973 – 37.00% of the US Health costs paid by Governments.
$3,505 – 61.20% of the German Health costs paid by Governments.
$3,135 – 69.00% of the Australian Health costs paid by Governments.
$3,354 – 79.00% of the UK Health costs paid by Governments.

The US still spends more per person, but not quite as large a difference as first imagined.

Most health care provided in the US is Private, and that means a lot of people making profits from the system.

Most healthcare provided in the other countries is Public, with Government controls on spending.

Private healthcare is almost always better, but at a cost.


The following table shows a selection of countries, with their annual Healthcare costs per person, where the US costs are shown as $10,224 per year (PPP adjusted).

Health consumption expenditures per capita, U.S. dollars, PPP adjusted, 2017

Total Spending (Governments, Insurance and Individuals)
$10,224 USA
$8,009 Switzerland
$5,728 Germany
$5,511 Sweden
$5,440 Austria
$5,386 Netherlands
$5,280 Average of comparable countries
$4,902 France
$4,826 Canada
$4,774 Belgium
$4,717 Japan
$4,543 Australia
$4,246 United Kingdom



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