Weekly Chart: The Price of Health Care in the Americas

By Elizabeth Gonzalez

Which countries spend the most on health care?

From new technologies to specialized drugs to pharmaceutical mergers and acquisitions, the cost of health care is ballooning around the world. In Latin America, health care expenses per capita have grown an average 197 percent from 1995 to 2014, according to the World Bank. That’s higher than the 129 percent average increase worldwide. At the same time, the region is home to one of only two countries (the other being the Marshall Islands) in the world to see a drop in costs during the same time period: Argentina, where overall health care expenses per person stood at $605 in 2014.

But another country in the Americas is one of the world’s biggest spenders. At $9,024 per person annually, the United States has the world’s third-highest health care costs. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), known better as Obamacare, had a stated goal of capping the growing U.S. health bill, which amounted to 17 percent of GDP in 2014. The new U.S. Congress and incoming Trump administration are taking steps to scrap ACA.

With Obamacare on the chopping block, AS/COA Online looks at the price of health care across the hemisphere.