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A new Health Affairs study throws cold water on the idea that the U.S. spends so much more on health care than other countries because we spend less on other social services.

The big picture: Some policymakers and researchers say that the underinvestment in social services has led to a less healthy population, and point to the low U.S. ratio of social-to-health spending.

Between the lines: Instead, our spending on social services as a percentage of GDP is actually greater than the average of OECD countries, and there's a positive correlation between a country's spending on social services and its spending on health care.

  • Forgive me if you've heard this before, but the answer is that we just spend way more on health care than other countries do, which drives down our social-to-health spending ratio and makes us an outlier.
  • And, the authors note, "the US has average rates of utilization, which suggests that this is not likely a key driver of higher health care spending at the national level."

The bottom line: It's the prices, stupid.

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”