One of the startling facts about the United States is the ability for the country to be a global leader in many facets of modern countries yet fall behind remarkably in others, such as health care. A great example of this phenomenon is the fact that of the top twenty companies in the world by market cap, 15 out of 20 are from the U.S. On the other hand, the U.S. ranks last in HAQ (Healthcare Quality and Access) compared to peer countries. Further, the U.S. ranks last in life expectancy at birth among countries with high GDP per capita.
America can excel and lead the world with business, so why is it failing at health care system outcomes for its citizens, given the resources available? As with most complex problems, there isn’t a silver bullet solution. Instead, a way forward would be to improve standards of excellence for health care. The Commonwealth Fund notes that “the U.S. spends more on health care as a share of the economy — nearly twice as much as the average OECD country — yet has the lowest life expectancy and highest suicide rates among the 11 nations.” Bringing down the cost of healthcare in the U.S. while improving the quality is an immediate therapy to the healthcare crisis in the U.S.