The United States spends about 17% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health care, which amounted to about $2.7 trillion US Dollars (USD) in 2012. Almost 50% of all US health care expenditures are for an estimated 5% of the population. This subset of the population is thought to require so much spending not just because of illnesses, but also because of issues such as poverty, mental illness or unsafe lifestyles that inhibit or prevent effective treatment. Advocates for increased spending on social services believe that aiding these individuals through the assistance of caseworkers could be a solution for lowering total spending on health care.
More about health care:
- The US accounted for 40% of global health care spending in 2012, followed by Japan at 8%.
- The average cost of a hospital stay in developed countries worldwide is about $6,200 USD, which is about one-third of the average in the US.
- Cancer survival rates in the US are among the highest in the world. For example, the breast cancer five-year survival rate averaged 89.3% from 2004-2009, while the average for other developed countries was 83.5%.