Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

Off the chart: US and world health care costs compared

A dramatic graphic recently put together at the National Geographic blog compares a selection of industrialized countries’ health care spending with their life expectancy. The US is literally off the chart with health spending, but it shows that the high costs of the US health care system are not commensurate with quality of care.

The second, scatter-plot graph comes from Andrew Gelman at FiveThirtyEight, who adapted the information into his own graphical rendering.

Michelle Andrews writes:

The United States spends more on medical care per person than any country, yet life expectancy is shorter than in most other developed nations and many developing ones. Lack of health insurance is a factor in life span and contributes to an estimated 45,000 deaths a year. Why the high cost? The U.S. has a fee-for-service system—paying medical providers piecemeal for appointments, surgery, and the like. That can lead to unneeded treatment that doesn’t reliably improve a patient’s health.

Click on the thumbnails for the full size, or over the jump.

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This entry was posted on 6 January, 2010 by in Health.

Timely Reminders

"Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
-- Aldous Huxley

"The only war that matters is the war against the imagination. All others are subsumed by it."
-- Diane DiPrima, "Rant", from Pieces of a Song.

"It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there"
-- William Carlos Williams, "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower"


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