Letters: The Register Guard, June 30, 2015
by Sally McCoy, Eugene
In his June 29 letter, Reginald Jensen cited some numbers to support his contention that health care costs in Europe and the United Kingdom are higher than in the United States. He challenged single-payer advocates to support their position with facts.
In my search for facts, I was unable to reconcile Jensen’s facts with what I discovered. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development reports that in 2012, health care spending in the United States was 17.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product, not the 11.5 percent figure Jensen gave. Furthermore, our spending was two-and-a-half times greater than health care spending in the rest of the developed world.
U.S. life expectancy is shorter than in other developed nations — 78.8 years in 2012, compared with 81.5 years in the United Kingdom. In 2012, the United States spent $8,233 per person on health care. The average in other developed nations was $3,268.