Higher Incomes Allow US Residents To Spend More On Health Care

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"America's high productivity gives [it] the ability to spend more onhealth care, especially the latest treatments and technologies, thanother developed nations that labor under forms of socialized healthcare," John Graham, director of health care studies at the Pacific Research Institute, writes in a Wall Street Journalopinion piece. Because U.S. residents earn "so much more than people inother countries, it naturally follows that we spend more on healthcare," he continues, adding, "Even after paying for our health care,Americans have far more money left over than their neighbors to spendon other goods and services."

However, "averages obscure manyharsh realities and hide the fact that many Americans are unable toafford health care," he writes. According to Graham, "To improve thestate of American health care and lighten the burden on business andworkers, policy leaders should push for portability of health benefits,transparent pricing for health services, tort reforms and morecompetition among both insurers and providers." Graham concludes,"Given America's superior economic performance, however," the lack ofuniversal health care "is a uniqueness we should not rush to abandon"(Graham, Wall Street Journal, 11/13).
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Reprinted with permission fromkaisernetwork.org.You can view the entire KaiserDaily Health Policy Report, search the archives, andsign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published forkaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser FamilyFoundation.

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