An analysis by David Squires at The Commonwealth Fund published in 2013 highlighted the staggering opportunity cost of very expensive healthcare. If the U.S. had spent as much money on healthcare as even the next most expensive country (Switzerland) between 1980-2010, the nation would have saved over 15.5 trillion dollars, money that could have gone towards education, infrastructure, etc. Of course, direct healthcare spending provides value to society, but so do roads, bridges, and schools. Yet healthcare is also a strong labor market - as Uwe E. Reinhardt at Princeton points out in his "Alfred E. Neuman Cosmic Law of Health Care", every dollar of healthcare spending also represents a dollar of someone's income.
What are your thoughts on how to appropriately balance healthcare spending against other societal needs? What strategies or policy changes could improve this balance?
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