By Parija B. Kavilanz, CNNMoney.com senior writer Last Updated: August 10, 2009: 9:37 AM ET NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Down the drain: $1.2 trillion. That's half of the $2.2 trillion the United States spends on health care each year, according to the most recent data from accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute. What counts as waste? The report identified 16 different areas in which health care dollars are squandered. But in talking to doctors, nurses, hospital groups and patient advocacy groups, six areas totaling nearly $500 billion stood out as issues to be dealt with in the health care reform debate. Health care's six money-wasting problems - Aug. 10, 2009 Assuming these numbers are at least in the ball park, how do we change this?