In this survey, a team of respected researchers lead by Gerard Anderson examines health spending and health system capacity in 30 OECD nations. Although the U.S. has by far the highest per capita health spending, it is near or below average in the number of doctors, nurses, hospital beds and hospital admissions per capita. As the authors point out, this disparity illustrates the much higher prices charged for health care in the United States.
The authors conclude that other nations control rising health costs more effectively because of their collective purchasing of health services, and attribute the United States’ high costs directly to our fragmented system of financing health care. Only collective purchasing of health care (such as provided by a single-payer system) can control rising health costs. Reform options that do not address this aspect are bound to fail.