Medical mystery, or what happened to U.S. health spending after 1980? The New York Times

“The United States devotes a lot more of its economic resources to health care than any other nation, and yet its health care outcomes aren’t better for it,” Austin Frakt writes over at The New York Times. “That hasn’t always been the case. America was in the realm of other countries in per-capita health spending through about 1980. Then it diverged. It’s the same story with health spending as a fraction of gross domestic product. Likewise, life expectancy. In 1980, the U.S. was right in the middle of the pack of peer nations in life expectancy at birth. But by the mid-2000s, we were at the bottom of the pack. What happened? Health spending and life expectancy are not necessarily closely related, so it’s helpful to consider them separately.” Austin Frakt, “Medical Mystery: Something Happened to U.S. Health Spending After 1980,” The New York Times.