The Time Bomb No One Is Talking About

August 9, 2011
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While the United States spends much more per capita on health care than other high-income countries, the share of Americans receiving long-term care is quite low compared to many other countries. OECD projections also suggest that U.S. spending on long-term care as a share of GDP will stay below the OECD average in coming decades.

 

While the United States spends much more per capita on health care than other high-income countries, the share of Americans receiving long-term care is quite low compared to many other countries. OECD projections also suggest that U.S. spending on long-term care as a share of GDP will stay below the OECD average in coming decades.

 

Because the number of Americans receiving long-term care is so low, U.S. spending on long-term care–whether per capita or as a share of GDP–is well below that of other OECD countries. For example, U.S. spending per capita on long-term care was $455 in 2008, while the OECD average was $543 per capita, and per capita spending on long-term care is upwards of $1200 in Norway, Sweden, and Netherlands. Over time, according to the OECD: “In 2008, public LTC expenditure accounted for 1.2% of GDP, while private LTC expenditure for another 0.3%, on average across the OECD.

See additional Timothy Taylor commentary here.