Survey reveals that Americans pay more for healthcare goods and services

A survey by the International Federation of Health Plans has revealed that Americans pay a good amount more for healthcare goods and services than residents in other developed countries, according to The Washington Post. 

According to the article, the International Federation of Health Plans surveyed its members, which include over 100 insurers in 30 countries on the cost of care from everything from a routine doctor’s visit to the cost of medical procedures including hip replacement and coronary artery bypass surgery. 

Key findings:

  • For 22 of the 23 conditions on the survey, Americans paid significantly more money than other developed countries.
  • CABG surgery costs an average of 42,951 in the U.S.; compared to Argentina’s average cost of 9,319, and Germany’s 16,578.
  • Drugs cost more in the U.S. as well; Lipitor costs an average of $95 in the U.S., compared to $14 in Spain, and $81 in Switzerland.

Some point out that other countries are benefitting from the investment that the U.S. puts into innovation in healthcare.  Critics of this argument say that only some of the profits that pharmaceutical and medical device companies make go back into innovation, and that the money the U.S. spends on health care is money is not spent in other sectors including education, defense, and scientific spending.

(Sources: The Washington Post,, March 2, 1012; The Advisory Board Daily Briefing,, March 6, 2012; The International Federation of Health Plans Survey,, March 2012