Vanderbilt Law Review


Soraya Ghebleh

First Page



Virgil is known for saying "the greatest wealth is health."' Based on the astronomical amount spent on healthcare, the United States has taken his idea literally-spending more "wealth" will lead to greater "health." In 2006, the United States spent over seven thousand dollars per person annually on healthcare. While that number may not seem very high to spend on an individual level, the total amounted to approximately 2.1 trillion dollars in 2006. In 2014, that number hit three trillion, or seventeen percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product ("GDP"). One justification for spending nearly one-fifth of the United States GDP on health care is that high quality health outcomes will result. However, this causal leap depends on the assumption that spending more money on healthcare automatically leads to high quality, which is simply not the case.