III Publishing

Healthcare by the Pound
October 3, 2018
by William P. Meyers

Site Search

Also sponsored by Earth Pendant at PeacefulJewelry

Popular pages:

U.S. War Against Asia
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Natural Liberation

Is American healthcare cheaper by the pound (or kilogram?)

American healthcare is expensive. We have the highest paid doctors and other healthcare personnel. Our drug prices are higher. Obamacare, or the Affordable Healthcare Act, and expanded Medicaid have given more Americans health coverage, but the price is still set mainly by greedy people.

Or not. Maybe, I thought, we are using the wrong measure. We are calculating healthcare costs per person. But Americans are fatter, on average, than people in any other country. We are not just fatter than starving Egyptians and Somalis. We are fatter than people with plenty of money for food, like the French, Germans, and British.

So maybe our higher health costs are a result of fatness. Obeseness. Wolfing down fast food in ginourmous quantities after a hard day of sitting at a desk typing. Or while sitting at a desk typing. Or watching video.

What if our healthcare is cheaper by the pound of human flesh. Or, metric folk, by the kilogram?

So I sat on my butt and instead of going to a library and looking up official statistics, made a few clicks and found unofficial but reasonable looking figures for a few countries.

First, healthcare costs per person, per year, in a few wealthy countries:

United States of America: $9,536

United Kingdom (England and all that): $4,256

France: $4,026

Germany: $5,592

Japan: $3,733

Now keep in mind that quality can make a difference. When a U.S. doctor, or the corporation she works for, charges you twice as much for looking at you and saying "Take two aspirin" as a foreign doctor, keep in mind our doctors won World War II and deserve a nicer lifestyle than foreigners.

Now to test my hypothesis that American healthcare is cheaper by the pound, we need the average weights of people in these different countries. I decided to average the average reported weights of adult men and women in each country, unless an adult average popped up quickly on my screen. Which are:

United States of America: 182 lb.

United Kingdom (England and all that): 177 lb.

France: 154 lb.

Germany: 165 lb.

Japan: 130 lb.

I note the world average weight is just 136.7 pounds. Also the sources of the above figures varied somewhat.

So now, divide the healthcare dollars per person by the weight per person, and we get the healthcare dollars per year per pound:

United States of America: $52.40

United Kingdom (England and all that): $24.05

France: $26.14

Germany: $33.89

Japan: $28.72

So my hypothesis fails. Even by the pound of human flesh kept healthy, or at least treated, American healthcare is expensive.

III Blog list of articles