President Obama's $6,000 Lie - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
President Obama’s $6,000 Lie

During last week’s prime time press conference, President Obama incorrectly said the United States spends $6,000 more per person than any other country in the world. Perhaps his defenders would chalk it up to an honest mistake he made during a long press conference. But the problem is, he not only repeated, but elaborated on the error this time, making additional factual errors.

Here’s Obama during this afternoon’s townhall with AARP, based on the official White House transcript:

Last point I would make, just to give you a sense of why I know that we can get savings in the system without over the long term spending more money.  We spend about $6,000 per person more than any other industrialized nation on Earth — $6,000 more than the people do in Denmark, or France, or Germany, or — every one of these other countries spend at least 50 percent less than we do, and you know what, they’re just as healthy. 

However, if you look at OECD data (which can be downloaded here), you will find the following statistics for per capita health care costs, adjusted for purchasing power parity:

United States: $7,290

Denmark: $3,512

France: $3,601

Germany: $3,588

Obama is correct that all of those countries spend less per person on health care, but it isn’t anywhere near $6,000 less. The widest gap among the countries mentioned, between the U.S. and Denmark, is $3,778 per person. Of course, other systems don’t keep costs down with magic wands, but with rationing care to the sick — something Obama denies he wants to do in the U.S.

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