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U.S. Health Care's Competitive Disadvantage

A study finds that American workers and employers get less bang for their medical buck than people in other nations

U.S. workers and employers get 23% less value from their health-care spending than those in Britain, Canada, France, Germany, or Japan, and 46% less value than in Brazil, China, or India, according to a Business Roundtable study that examined the cost and performance of the U.S. health-care system.

That value gap exists even though the U.S. spends far more on health care per worker than the other countries examined. The study, released on Mar. 12, found that for every dollar the U.S. spent on health care, Britain Canada, France, Germany, and Japan spent 63¢, yet the health of the U.S. workforce lags by 10% on a composite measure. As for Brazil, China, and India, they spend just 15¢ for each U.S. dollar spent, yet the health of the U.S. workforce lags behind those three by 5%.