Over the last half-century, medical science has dramatically improved throughout the world. Although costs have risen in all western countries as new technologies have been widely adopted, costs in the United States have risen much more than they have in any other country. Despite using fewer resources (eg, numbers of physicians and nurses, hospital beds) than do peer countries, per-capita spending on health care in the United States is double that in similar countries. The major driving force behind this difference is that we in the United States pay much more for the same products and services. There is no evidence that this increased spending gives better outcomes. Neither the general public nor doctors are happy with our current health care system. Subsequent articles will discuss the components of our system and how they are failing and how they can be improved.
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Published online: February 26, 2019
Conflict of Interest: None.
Authorship: The author is solely responsible for the content of this manuscript.
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