Can the U.S. Survive the U.S. Health Care System?
Although the U.S. spends at least 50% more per capita on health care than any other nation, we don’t have the health status to show for it. The U.S. ranks 45th in the world in life expectancy and 29th in infant mortality. Behind those average numbers, in fact, we have a three-decade difference in life expectancy, with some in the population experiencing the longest life expectancy in the world, and others who have the life expectancy of people in developing nations.
More than 90 million Americans suffer from chronic illness; nearly two thirds of the adult population is overweight or obese. And unless changes flowing from the recently enacted health reform legislation succeed in slowing the rate of growth in health spending, over the next 75 years, an estimated 119 percent of the growth in per capita gross domestic product could end up being used for health care. Can we possibly survive these two trends of worsening health for large segments of the population, along with a skyrocketing rate of increase in costs? We will address these questions in this seminar with a focus on how we are going to advance health care and the health of our population.
Moderated by: Susan Dentzer, Editor-in-Chief, Health Affairs
Preceding the seminar at the Aspen Institute’s headquarters in Dupont Circle on May 8, a reception was held at the Potomac Boat Club on May 7.