Cool Graphic Reminder: U.S. Still Spending Far More Per Person On Health Care Than Anyone Else

On Tuesday, the Center For Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a report indicating that the recession has slowed the growth of health care spending. U.S. health spending grew 4.4 percent in 2008, its slowest rate in nearly 50 years. Overall health spending reached $2.3 trillion in 2008 or $7,681 per person.

My colleague Ellen-Marie Whelan discovered this graphic which uses data from 2007 to show how the United States’ spending per person compares to other nations:

Cost Growth

As the Washington Post’s Ceci Connely explained recently during an appearance on MSNBC, “one of the things I would suggest is not just how much we spend on health care because as a wealthy nation, maybe we want to spend a lot, but the problem really is we’re not getting much bang for our buck. We’re not getting our money’s worth. And the real question about this piece of legislation is how much it will be able to improve the quality of care so that we start getting our money’s worth.”