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  • Introduction
  • Relationship between Public Health Expenditures and Desired Public
  • Health Outcomes
  • Comparison of Healthcare Spending between the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany
  • Insights
  • Conclusion
  • References


  • Introduction

Winter (2013) starts by arguing that the United States become the country that has the highest spending on healthcare. This is in comparison to other nations in the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). Notably, the United States is considered the most developed country. However, the reasons for the higher spending on health care in the United States has been controversial.

  • Relationship between public health expenditures and desired public health outcomes

Public health expenditures may not correlate with desired public health results. Bradley (2015) argues that higher spending in healthcare does not necessarily means that there would be improved health care services. Taking the United States as an example, the country uses many funds in health care. However, the provision of health services in the country is distorted. For instance, despite the higher spending, the Americans have scarcer hospital and physician visits (Rothgang, 2010). In addition, the United States has hospitals with fewer hospital beds and less discharges per capita than in the OECD. Furthermore, health care insurance premiums have been rising recently. Therefore, the cost of health care in the United States is very high. Brannon (2010) attests that many workers in the country do not have admission to paid sick leaves despite the fact that the government is spending many funds in healthcare. Statistics give that the United States has poor population health. Giaimo (2002) admits that the United States has worse health outcomes than the other international countries. Observably, Walshe (2003) confirms the people in the United States have the lowest life expectancy rates on top of the highest infant mortality rates.

  • Comparison of health care spending between the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany

The United States spends 17.1% of its GDP (gross domestic product) on healthcare. This figure is two times that of the United Kingdom, which uses 8.8% of its GDP. The United Kingdom uses $3,480 per year on health care(Johnson, 2010). On the other hand, the United States government uses $8,362 per individual per annum on healthcare. Germany uses $4,920 on total health per capita (Greenwald, 2010). Germany has the most successful healthcare system in the world concerning cost and quality. Germany and the United States differ in the effectiveness of the health insurance (Shi, 2012). Recognizably, the typical per-capita health care expenditures for the Germany’s system are less than the half of the expenses in the United States. The United Kingdom defeats the United States on the number of nurses in the health care facilities. However, Germany defeats both the United Kingdom and the United States on the number of nurses.

  • Insights

The reason behind the poor health services in the United States, despite the high spending, can be said to emanate from the method used by the government to fund healthcare (Johnson, 2010). The United States uses Medicare while Germany relies on private and non-profit insurers, which are tightly controlled to function towards communally desired accomplishments.

  • Conclusion

It can be drawn from the discussion that several recommendations have to be enacted to ensure that higher spending on healthcare by the United States brings the intended medical outcomes. The country should adopt the policy executed by Germany to add more contributors to the health care provision. This is apparent because there are still observable shortages of hospital beds and practitioners in the face of the high spending.


Bradley, E. H. (2015). American Health Care Paradox: Why Spending More Is Getting Us Less.New York: Public Affairs.

Brannon, L (2010). Health Psychology: An Introduction To Behavior And Health. Australia: Cengage Learning.

Giaimo, S. (2002). Markets And Medicine: The Politics Of Health Care Reform In Britain, Germany, And The United States. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Greenwald, H. P. (2010). Health Care In The United States: Organization, Management, And Policy. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Johnson, J. (2010). Comparative Health Systems: Global Perspectives.Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Rothgang, H. (2010). The State And Healthcare: Comparing OECD Countries. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Shi, L. (2012). Delivering Health Care InAmerica: A Systems Approach. Sudbury: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Walshe, K. (2003). Regulating Healthcare: A Prescription For Improvement?. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Winter, R. E. (2013). Unraveling U.S. Health Care: A Personal Guide.Lanham: Rowman& Littlefield.