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How much should rich countries’ governments spend on healthcare? 

How much should rich countries’ governments spend on healthcare?
How much should rich countries’ governments spend on healthcare?

Allyson M. Pollock

, and David Price

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date: 05 March 2021

The argument commonly made by politicians in richer countries is that a universal health system is unaffordable because of the enormous gains in life expectancy leading to an ageing population, and that market-driven competition and choice is preferred because it increases efficiency. There is no evidence to support these claims, and evidence to the contrary on both counts. The ageing of the population contributes little to the overall growth in expenditure, which is largely attributable to increasing marketization of health systems and costs of medicines and technologies. Many countries have decided that universal healthcare is the hallmark of a civilized society and that it is both necessary and affordable for governments to legislate for its citizens to that end.

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