One of the things I do is look at a lot of data visualizations, not only to see how others have solved visualization problems but also to look for insights from the visualizations themselves. This recently happened as I was reading Fortune Magazine’s Global 500 issue and looking at the ways they have visualized the data. There are some nice interactive visualizations by Stamen Design on their website. And they have some interesting static visualizations in the print magazine. There I found this visualization of the Global 500 broken out by sector.
This is an interesting bubble chart showing the number of companies in the Global 500, broken out by sector and country. I was astounded to see that the U.S. is only country in HealthCare sectors of Insurance and managed care or Misc. HealthCare. And that only one other country has a company in the Global 500 medical facilities sector, Germany. Only five countries join us in the massive global Pharmaceuticals sector.
This visualization showed what I had suspected for so long. That health care costs in the U.S. are so high because healthcare had become big business. And it is a big business focused on revenue generation primarily in the U.S. Big healthcare is an American market and we pay for it every time we need healthcare.
I made a gif of my A-ha moment to drive home the point.
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