Despite leading the world on medical care spending, Americans have worse health and shorter lives than people in other affluent nations. Our international ranking has been slipping over time, and it is not only poor Americans who are affected. Middle-class and even wealthy Americans also are less healthy than their counterparts in other affluent countries.
The results of new analyses in this report, Overcoming Obstacles to Health in 2013 and Beyond, show dramatic differences in health among Americans from different income, education, and racial or ethnic groups. These differences—between the United States and other countries, and within our own borders—adversely affect almost everyone, with serious human and economic costs. As a nation, we are failing to achieve our health potential.