So you ask why are healthcare cost so absurd in the US compared to other countries? The myriad of pieces of paper of all different sizes that health insurers require before they'll pay is one thing, and this is where IT can help, but you need standards and without the big dog in the room (ie the federal gov't), this is a pipe dream. Why is it that doctor's offices have at least one or two employees devoted full time to filling in all these forms depending on which insurance company you may be using? They don't come free either, and the spiral turns every higher. . .
The real reason is that most of medicine is defensive. Defensive against the likelihood of being sued! This is the most litigious country in the world with more lawyers per capita then any other, and doctors in fear of making a mistake, order more and more tests whether you need them or not.
Then again why all the fully equipped hospitals and clinics at every corner with their own MRIs and laboratories? Who's paying for those? You are in terms of higher premiums. I doubt other countries have all this stuff at every corner, nor do they (or we) need it. And if you don't have insurance, you get the benefit of this lavish infrastructure too. Someone else will pay.
I could rant on further, but I'll see how much flack this engenders first.
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