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November 26, 2014

Critiquing US Health Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, Stanford University, Stanford, California
JAMA. 2014;312(20):2095-2096. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.14114

Critics of US health care usually begin by noting that this country spends a much greater share of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health care than any other country but lags in life expectancy at birth. This critique implicitly (and sometimes explicitly) assumes that there should be a positive correlation between health care expenditures and life expectancy. Such an assumption is fully justified for low-income countries with minimal health care; additional care and financial resources usually have substantial favorable effects on life expectancy.

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