Many people know by now that the United States spends much more on health care than any other country, and that health outcomes are not a lot better (and in many instances worse). That raises the question: Is our health care spending actually worth it? It's tricky to figure out the extent of the roles that the environment, genetics and social support play in improving health. Nevertheless, the best evidence tells us that health care is still very valuable, even at U.S. prices. Consider this analogy: If you had to choose between no transportation and a new $50,000 luxury car, the car is worth it. This is the U.S. health system. Expensive, but better than nothing. But that doesn't mean using the bus or even buying a used economy car for $10,000 wouldn't be more cost-effective. This is what many other nations are doing. (We should acknowledge that other nations are also benefiting from innovation in health care that is driven by high American spending without paying as much for it.) How can such expensive health care be worth it? One piece of the puzzle is connecting health care to longevity. Research published in 1994 by scholars from King's College… Read full this story
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