America’s Health Care System Is Very Inefficient

Great chart from Lane Kenworthy:

I think the most charitable interpretation you can give to this is that the existence of an inefficient system in the United States acts as a subsidy to global health care innovation. With prescription drugs, for example, the availability of windfall profits in the USA attracts capital to pharma R&D. Then when the drugs are developed, they’re sold abroad for something much closer to marginal cost. Still, even on this interpretation, we’re doing something badly wrong. This is why CAP’s deficit reduction plan (PDF) focused heavily on systematic reform of the health care system rather than narrowly shifting costs out of Medicare and Medicaid and on to states and patients.