The blog Our World in Data compares life expectancy to health expenditure for about 20 wealthy countries. America has a spot on the chart all by itself. We spend over $9000 per person per year for a life expectancy of 79. The closest to us is Switzerland with a cost of $6800 and life expectancy of 83. The best is Japan with a cost of $4200 and life expectancy of 83.5. Why does Japan get an extra four years at half the cost?
Though the article doesn’t mention it, I’m sure part of the difference is diet – the Japanese diet is much more healthy than the American diet. On to things the article does say: Administrative costs in America are much higher – we have to pay a profit to all those insurance companies. In America there is a large inequality in spending. Some people have a great deal of access to medical services and some have limited access, which affects costs when these people finally seek treatment and affects life expectancy.