Gerard F. Anderson, Uwe E. Reinhardt, Peter S. Hussey, and Varduhi Petrosyan write

the United States spends more on health care than any of the other OECD countries spend, without providing more services than the other countries do. This suggests that the difference in spending is mostly attributable to higher prices of goods and services.

They use a variety of data sources to make their case. However, one seemingly-obvious source is overlooked: real vs. nominal spending in the national income accounts. If they’re right that we get no more health care services, then in real terms, the ratio of health care spending in the U.S. ought to be the same as that in other OECD countries.

The data I have seen is on nominal shares of health care in GDP. Their paper quotes data, and I found updated information here. If I had the data on real shares, then it would be relatively easy to say how much of the difference in nominal shares is due to prices and how much is due to real quantities–at least as measured in the national income accounts. My guess is that this estimate would only reinforce the conclusions in the paper, but it would be a useful data point.

For Discussion. Can anyone point me to or send me a copy of similar data on real spending shares?