Wednesday, June 18, 2014 US Health Care Most Expensive, Least Effective Among Wealthy Nations The news is, there's no news: once again, the United States ranks first among industrialized nations in health care spending but lands near the bottom on most health care outcomes, and winds up in last place overall. The Commonwealth Fund has released its Mirror Mirror report on health care among 11 wealthy countries, and just as in 2010, 2007, 2006, and 2004, the US is found to have an expensive system that comes in dead last in efficiency, equity, and mortality/life expectancy—and near the bottom in most other measures. The report compared spending and outcomes among Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the US. The report estimates per-capita health expenditures in the US at just over $8500, almost $3,000 more than the next highest rate (Switzerland), and more than $5,000 above the UK, the country with the highest-rated health care system overall. Switzerland was ranked second to UK, with Sweden, Australia, and Germany next in line. Canada was ranked second-to-last. Although the US did do well in preventive care, waiting times, and specialist care, it lagged behind in access to services and the ability to receive prompt service from primary care physicians, according to the report.