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A “Gross” Domestic Product

The U.S. spends 14 percent of its Gross Domestic Product on health care. Unfortunately, many Americans have no health insurance and must either pay for medical care out of their pockets or go without. This occurs despite federal and state expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars to provide health care.

We rank number 37 in the world of countries rated on percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) spent on education and 38 in the world on healthcare. Cuba ranks above the United States in neonatal (the first 28 days of an infant's life) mortality. Malaysia, Kenya, Malawi and Swaziland also rank ahead of us, just to name a few. Cuba spends 18.7 percent of its GDP on education compared to just over 5 percent for the US. For more information, visit

Tony Johnson says as of March 26, 2012, in an article on Healthcare Costs and U.S. Competitiveness, the United States spends an estimated $2 trillion annually on healthcare expenses, more than any other industrialized country. According to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United States spends two-and-a-half times more than the OECD average, and yet ranks with Turkey and Mexico as the only OECD countries without universal health coverage.

We constantly hear how great American healthcare is and how poor it is in Canada. When I recently spoke to an American in Canada with dual citizenship, I asked her what she would do if she was in the U.S. and had a severe health issue. She replied, “I would go back to Canada immediately. The care is just far better.” I recently had the opportunity to talk with two nurses from Saudi Arabia who worked in Heart Place located in Plano, Texas. When asked how the U.S. compared to Saudi Arabia, they both said “The United States is just so far behind in healthcare.” For more information, visit

I was recently in Kampala, Uganda in the international hospital. Their one doctor was able to take care of a constant stream of about twenty five patients per hour. I was called in ten minutes. I have never had such expedient care. I had pneumonia and received a complete exam, chest x-ray, and lab work. This was accomplished in less than 45 minutes. In the U.S. it would have taken in the Emergency Department (ED) my wife and I use an average of ten to twelve hours. Why on earth are our EDs so inefficient? They have far more personnel than is needed.

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