Americans and Europeans spend the same share of GDP on health care and education. "Properly measured, Mars and Venus spend the same share of income on these tasks," concludes Jacob Funk Kirkegaard from the Peterson Institute for International Economics: "The only meaningful difference between US and European expenditure levels is in private-sector healthcare spending, where the US private sector spends about three times more on healthcare than its European private-sector counterparts." (Read a summary of his paper on Atlantic-Community.org.)
Do Americans get better health care, given that their GDP is bigger than Europe's? Nope, in 2006, the "US performed poorly -placing last, in fact - among the six countries surveyed on six key domains of healthcare: Patient Safety, Effectiveness, Patient-Centeredness, Timeliness, Efficiency and Equity," writes Dialog International.
Related posts on Atlantic Review: "If It's From Europe, Forget It" and Other Comments on Health Care and Europeans are taller than Americans.