Thereisnospoon, Your assessments are very correct. Another reason health care is so expensive is that many specialists who see us practice "defensive medicine". They do this to provide a defensible paper trail in the event they are sued by tort attorneys if the outcome is not as good as the patient expected. This practice alone adds about 20-30% to the cost of health care in the United States. Also, some new cancer drugs will soon cost $100,000 a year to administer. The drug companies must charge this much to recover the R&D costs that were necessary to develop these new miracle drugs. The supply of these new drugs is very limited, and not all patients will have access to them. To keep heath care costs down, the central government will soon determine who gets these treatments and who does not. A "panel" wil be set up to develop selection guidelines and to enforce these guidelines after they become law. Thoughtful comments from Thereisnospoon: Wonderful. AARP went in the bag for Obamacare and is now ready to throw it's members under the bus. This is typical of the supporters of Obama. They cannot admit they are wrong so they've gone off the deep end for this guy. The article suggests 100 people per day are dropping dead from "overtesting". HUH? Look, there are cases where very sick people with multiple afflictions are getting massive amounts of medical care that probably will not extend the lifeof the patient but will make them a little more comfortable and allow them to die with dignity. The expense of taking care of these patients is infinitesimal in the grand scheme of things. The real problem is abuse of the system by folks (and illegal immigrants) who have minor ailments that will call "9-1-1" for a ride to the hospital for a cough. Then there are the people who are self-destructive. These are the drug abusers, those who will not use proper safety equipment on their jobs. The young gang bangers who get stabbed and shot. Most children born out of wedlock areborn to uninsured patients. These births in the hospital are written off and then added to the cost of health insurance premiums for insured patients. Now, the insurance carriers are responsible as well. These companies pay for treatments at not what are market rates but at rates set in negotiations with hospitals. Medicare for example has dropped the rate of reimbursement. SO the cost to the patient does not change (which is counted in the statistics) the write off by the medical professional just gets larger. Nobody really can produce accurate statistics as to the actual cost of health care in the US. One thing is clear, the system is not perfect. IMO we should have a pay as you go system which would increase competition between medical providers which would in turn lower prices. Eliminating insurance "networks" would also lower costs to consumers because the patient could shop around for the best deal for care. Now, the most frigtening aspect of the health care debate is the spectre of a government take over of the system. With the government setting prices , more or less fixing the marketplace, the costs stay the same or continue to rise. What occurs is the marketplace shrinks as health providers leave the industry. Fewer doctors and fewer facilities means care MUST become rationed. In other words it will become largely unavailable.