The U.S. spends more on health care than Japan, Germany, France, China, the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, Brazil, Spain and Australia — combined. In 2019, the dollar amount on health care spending came out to $3.8 trillion — nearly one-fifth of the U.S. economy and twice as much as what other high-income nations spend each year.
But all the spending does not always equate to better health outcomes. Americans die of preventable and treatable diseases at higher rates than those in other high-income nations. Meanwhile, a significant number of Americans — 30 million — have no health insurance at all. That number is expected to grow as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a recent PBS NewsHour special, “Critical Care: America vs. the World,” correspondent William Brangham, producer Jason Kane, Dr. Ashish K. Jha of Brown University’s School of Public Health and Tsung-Mei Cheng of Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, among other sources, looked at what the U.S. might learn from health care systems in other nations. The team travelled to the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Australia and Canada as part of its reporting.
In a conversation sponsored by the Commonwealth Fund, Brangham, Kane, Jha and Cheng will discuss what they found during a PBS NewsHour live event beginning at noon ET on Wednesday, May 5. What questions about affordable health care and the U.S. health care system would you like to hear answered?
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