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Health care in the United States is provided by many distinct organizations.[1] Health care facilities are largely owned and operated by private sector businesses. 58% of US community hospitals are non-profit, 21% are government owned, and 21% are for-profit.[2] According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States spent more on health care per capita ($8,608), and more on health care as percentage of its GDP (17%), than any other nation in 2011.

64% of health spending was paid for by the government in 2013,[3][4] funded via programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program, and the Veterans Health Administration. People aged under 67 acquire insurance via their or a family member's employer, by purchasing health insurance on their own, or are uninsured. Health insurance for public sector employees is primarily provided by the government in its role as employer.[5]

The United States life expectancy of 79.8 years at birth, up from 75.2 years in 1990, but only ranks 42nd among 224 nations, and 22nd out of the 35 industrialized OECD countries, down from 20th in 1990.[6][7] Of 17 high-income countries studied by the National Institutes of Health in 2013, the United States had the highest or near-highest prevalence of obesity, car accidents, infant mortality, heart and lung disease, sexually transmitted infections, adolescent pregnancies, injuries, and homicides. On average, a U.S. male can be expected to live almost four fewer years than those in the top-ranked country, though notably Americans aged 75 live longer than those who reach that age in other developed nations.[8] A 2014 survey of the healthcare systems of 11 developed countries found the US healthcare system to be the most expensive and worst-performing in terms of health access, efficiency, and equity.[9]

Americans undergo cancer screenings at significantly higher rates than people in other developed countries, and access MRI and CT scans at the highest rate of any OECD nation.[10] Diabetics are more likely to receive treatment and meet treatment targets in the U.S. than in Canada, England, or Scotland.[11][12]

Gallup recorded that the uninsured rate among U.S. adults was 11.9% for the first quarter of 2015, continuing the decline of the uninsured rate outset by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).[13] A 2012 study for the years 2002–2008 found that about 25% of all senior citizens declared bankruptcy due to medical expenses, and 43% were forced to mortgage or sell their primary residence.[14]

In 2010 the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) became law, providing for major changes in health insurance. Under the act, hospitals and primary physicians would change their practices financially, technologically, and clinically to drive better health outcomes, lower costs, and improve their methods of distribution and accessibility. The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of most of the law in June 2012 and affirmed insurance exchange subsidies in all states in June 2015.[15]

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