A very recent article in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) was written to prove the Value of Medical Spending but has done more to expose the underlying problems of the medical complex than were acknowledged before.
The first problem is the present cost of $6,000 per year per man, woman and child.
The second problem is arguing that the large expenditure saves lives and then in giving a price tag for each year to life that medicine was supposed to have added. As an example, the paper concludes that the cost of increasing the life of a 45-year old person by just one year between 1990 and 2000 was more than $100,000, and the cost for an added year for a 65-year old was about $150,000 (which has of course increased far more in the intervening years).
The third problem is a question that has not really been addressed before and that is, does medicine actually save lives? This sounds like a trivial question, but since people die as well as get well under medical care, what is the contribution of medicine for both cases? Even for those who get well, what was the contribution of medical care over the natural inner curative processes? Medicine itself or iatrogenics is also the #3 cause of death slightly ahead of diabetes.