In the current debate over health care reform, one assertion that is often made is that the USA spends twice as much on health care than other industrialized countries, for an outcome that is no better. Some recent statistics from the OECD confirm that assertion but call into question some conventional wisdom, such as the theory that American health care is so expensive because having a third party payer encourages excessive consumption. In fact, Americans go to see the doctor less often than people in other countries (3.8 times a year vs. 6.8 for the OECD average) and when they go to the hospital the average stay is 5.5 days, versus an OECD average of 6.5. Americans smoke and eat less than the average, but 34% of the population is categorized as obese, vs. 15.1% for the OECD in general and 3.4% for Japan. The net result is that life expectancy at birth is 78.1 in the US vs. 79.0 for the OECD and 82.6 for Japan.