Doctors

We all pay for the bloated U.S. health care system

Data: OECD; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Americans pay higher out-of-pocket costs than most other wealthy countries, a byproduct of having the most expensive health care system in the world, according to the OECD.

Why it matters: Health care costs are at the heart of today's most explosive health care debates, including Medicare for All, prescription drug prices and surprise medical bills.

The U.S. health care system is not the best in the world

Adapted from OECD Health at a Glance, 2019; Table: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Americans pay the most for health care, by far, out of all developed countries. But we don't have much to show for it in terms of health outcomes or access to care, according to a new OECD report.

Why it matters: As we debate reforms to our health care system, it's worth remembering that the U.S. is an outlier compared to other countries, which have figured out how to get cheaper care without sacrificing quality.