The International Federation of Health Plans is out with their new comparative price report for 2012 and it again shows the United States radically overpays for basically every health care service relative to any other first-world country. From the report:
The report looks at a wide range of procedures, treatments and drugs, but those charts are essentially the same as this one. The basic dynamic has not really changed since I previously wrote about their 2011 report.
Americans do not tend to consume more health care than the rest of the first world. The sole reason we spend so much more on health care is that our government allows hospitals, drug companies, labs, insurance companies, and doctors to overcharge us. Governments in the rest of the industrialized world limit how much hospitals can charge. They do this either by having a single-payer system or imposing an all-payer price setting system.
The only thing stopping the United States from adopting one of these proven solutions to reduce our health care spending, and by extension eliminating our deficit, is the incredible political power of the health care industry.