World Health Organization

At the time of this paper, the United States, specifically, is evidently marked with an increasing number of individuals from multiple cultures and of different social classes that are unanimously seeking new and effective forms of health care.

The high cost of the current health care system in America is indeed quite excessive, especially when compared with the health care system of other countries.  The American nation  is known to spend more on health care compared with other countries (World Health Organization [WHO], 2008).

It is interesting to note that the details regarding the range, set by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in terms of usage, the statistical increase of the amount spent on health care and the decline in health insurance provisions, in addition to the presence of stringent eligibility laws, all warrant the fact that the United States health care system is indeed considerably more costly in comparison to those of other countries.

Also taking into  consideration that privately owned health care insurance providers have control over the health care status of numerous individuals, it is not difficult to conceive that since basically driven to gain income, such insurance companies may have rules that limit or exclude potential insurance applicants.

Although all countries throughout the world, especially those that are considered to be highly industrialized, have various forms of health care systems, the one utilized in the United States is made distinct regarding the issue of cost. Each year, there is an incremental increase on the amount spent on health care, both in the private and public sector.

Of course, not all forms of health care are provided by the government, a significant factor in increasing insurance coverage is through the services of privately owned insurance companies.  In fact, the health care coverage that has been a result of privately owned insurance companies far exceeds the coverage derived from government insurance (DeNavas-Walt et. al., 2008).

Adding this to the point that the demand in the United States for health care related items, such as prescriptions and emergencies, the services were found to be rather similar to countries, other the U.S.,  with higher ratings, in terms of the range provided by the OECD.

It is significant to state that the United States health care system is not lacking in terms of the services offered, but instead, rather innately costly in comparison to health care systems provided in other countries (Anderson et. al., 2003).

To compound this issue, there is an increase in the amount spent on health care as it rose from 1 trillion dollars to 2.26 trillion dollars in just a span of one year (Office of the Actuary in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services [OACMMS], 2008), which is also accompanied by the rising cost of health care insurance (Himmelstein et. al., 2005).

In this sense, it is again made apparent that the rising expenses, in terms of health related items and services, do not necessarily pertain to an increase in the actual amount or frequency of acquiring such items and services, but merely due to the relatively high cost per item or service .

The problem of high cost is also related to the stringent requirements regarding eligibility for acquiring health care support, thereby reducing the number of Americans who can fully have access to the health care system.  In general, an increase in expenditure related to health care related concerns does not necessarily pertain to an overall increase in terms of overall quality and coverage of the health care system in the United States.

While there is a great percentage of spending for health care purposes, the usage of the health care system falls below the range set by the OECD, which is basically the main means of comparing health care systems between countries (Anderson et. al., 2003).

This is an important point to consider given that health care systems that are considered to be below the allowable or suitable range are lacking in terms of the number of actual health care services used by individuals.

If it is, indeed, true that the cost of health care in the United States is considerably high, and the problems will definitely rise in terms of the financial status of Americans, without any form of insurance, provided for them as a work related benefit, it is safe to assume the system of health care is flawed.

As a matter of fact, millions of American families have already reached bankruptcy due to the high cost of health care products and services during the event of illness and injury in the family (Himmelstein et. al., 2005).

As pointed out beforehand, the demand for such items and services are generally at the same level in America and in other industrialized countries (Anderson et. al., 2003), hence it is the already high, and constantly increasing price tag, in the American health care system that is the main differentiating factor.

the economic problems being faced in the country have resulted in the withdrawal of the insurance benefits of workers, which mainly forms the majority of individuals covered through plans provided by private insurance firms to other companies or businesses (DeNavas-Walt et. al., 2008).  To further worsen the scenario, along with the increase of health care costs, the financial status of individuals and even families has also been put at risk due to the economic downturn and recession.

The decline in the provision of health insurance to workers, especially among small organizations and businesses has resulted in individuals or families to fend for themselves in terms of illnesses and injuries (DeNavas-Walt et. al., 2008).

These points, presented in support of the claim, that it is the cost that is the root of the health care system, is technical in nature.  Here, this paper presents a more readily observable, and easily conceived occurrence, that provides proof regarding the high cost of the health care system in the United States.

The health care system in the United States is definitely more costly when compared to the health care system in other countries. Not only is it characterized by high costs for the public, along with a low rank in the method of health care comparison established by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), statistical data also provide proof regarding the increase in the cost of health care in America.

Also, more readily observable manifestations of a costly health care system are already observed such as the decline in health insurance provisions in firms, the bankruptcy of families due to medical related expenses, and the lowered coverage of health care due to strict rules and parameters for application.

Therefore, it is not necessarily difficult to enumerate points in proving that the health care system in America is indeed costly by itself and also costly in comparison to other health care systems in other countries.


Anderson, G.F., Reinhardt, U.E., Hussey, P.S., and Petrosyan, V. (2003). Its the Prices Stupid: Why the            United States is So Different from Other Countries. Health Affairs, 22(3): 89 – 105.

DeNavas-Walt, C., Proctor, B.D., and Smith, J.C. (2008, August). Income, Poverty, and Health             Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007. U.S. Census Bureau – Current Population   Reports – Consumer Income. Retrieved June 22, 2009 from           2008pubs/p60-235.pdf.

Himmelstein, D.U., Elizabeth, W., Thorne, D., and Woolhandler, S. (2005, February 2). MarketWatch: Illness and Injury as Contributors to Bankruptcy. Health Affairs, W5: 63 – 73. Office of the Actuary in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (2008).

National Health Expenditure Projections 2008 – 2018. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services –   National Health Expenditure Data – Projected. Retrieved June 22, 2009 from   

World Health Organization. (2008). World Health Statistics 2008: Global Health Indicators. World        Health Organization Statistical Information System. Retrieved June 22, 2009 from