Report: U.S. health care system is a liability:
Americans spend a lot more than top countries, but arenít as healthy


If the global economy were a 100-yard dash, the U.S. would start 23 yards behind its closest competitors because of health care that costs too much and delivers too little, a business group says in a report to be released Thursday.

The report from the Business Roundtable, which represents CEOs of major companies, says America's health care system has become a liability in a global economy.

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The Business Roundtable report says Americans in 2006 spent $1,928 per capita on health care, at least two-and-a-half times more per person than any other advanced country.

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The health measures are factored together with costs into a 100-point "value" scale. That hasn't been done before, the authors said.

The results are not encouraging.

The United States is 23 points behind five leading economic competitors: Canada, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and France. The five nations cover all their citizens, and though their systems differ, in each country the government plays a much larger role than in the U.S.

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Higher U.S. spending funnels away resources that could be invested elsewhere in the economy, but fails to deliver a healthier work force, the report said.