Kellan Wortmann Mr. Bray Honors Government
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
America is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, so it makes sense it is one of the world leaders in health care expenditures. In 2010 the United State reported a Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, of $17.1 trillion. It also reported spending 17.6% of the GDP on healthcare. That means the US spent almost $2.9 trillion on healthcare alone, which is about $8,233 per capita. Since the US spends so much one may assume that its citizens are very well off in terms of healthcare. To the dismay of many Americans that is not the case. In 2000 the World Health Organization ranked the United States 37th out of 193 countries in terms of who had the best healthcare system. Although there are ways to manipulate the criteria to improve the US's spot, in general the WHO ranking is accepted. Other groups like the National Academic Press and Bloomberg have also given the US a poor ranking, (17th out of 17 and 46th out of 48 respectively). Other countries who spend much less were ranked much higher. France, who spends 11.7% of their GDP on healthcare was ranked first. France spends $3,997 per person on healthcare. If France had as many citizens as the United States it would have spent $262 billion which is far less than how much the US spent.
Looking at these numbers it becomes obvious that although wealthier countries tend to have better healthcare systems, the one's who spend the most are not the best. The question arises, why does the US spend so much? This a complex issue with a complex answer. However there are several main problems.
The first is that there are not enough Americans who have...