People continue to decry the state of health care. They claim we spend too much, but do not realize commensurate improvements in life expectancy. I asked Robert Fogel this question when he was here last year, and his response was something along the lines of: We spend more on health care, not because costs are rising, but because consumption is rising, and rising in ways that do not improve longevity, but rather quality of care. Richard Lehman makes a similar point.
Have you been to a hospital lately? They no longer house patients in wards, in many cases you have your own room with TV and other amenities.
The sad truth is that if we are to reduce consumption we have to ration health care. That will likely happen, or be most effective if we ration the consumption of elderly near the end of their lives. Every dollar spent on a 90 year old provides the least bang for the buck in terms of spending and increasing life expectancy.