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Countries try to treat healthcare as a commodity, its not, its a field subject to huge innovation, just like the tech field, with a wide variety of technologies and talent (differing level of skilled doctors) in the market place
The Quality of Healthcare can increase dramatically with innovation and talent, this is why the US continues to outspend the rest of the world because over 90% of medical innovation occurs in the US. In contrast countries with universal healthcare have anemic rates of innovation (free market vs a monopoly, the government, the free market always wins in innovation)
With the New US healthcare, I expect the center of medical innovation to shift to China, as there will be no profit motive anymore for US companies.
WHO and the OECD can supply you with all the comparisons you would like to see. Let me highlight two facts that might indicate the efficiency of spending money. WHO ranks the US Quality of Healthcare 37th globally. While beating Cuba, it is behind the majority of the OECD.
Another measure used as an efficiency index is the amenable death. The US had 111 per 100 000 population in 2008. The EU average as well as Japan, Australia and Canada were below 80, France (ranked first by WHO) had 64.
The lack of universal health care however may have a significant impact on the numbers. It is not that US health care is sub standard, but the frequently mentioned 30-40 m uninsured simply do not receive the treatment that would keep them alive. This pushes the amenable death numbers from from the otherwise probably low up to one of the highest in the developed world.
In principle, I'm in favour of privatisation as opposed to nationalisation. In the case of healthcare, however, I've always felt the empirical evidence is so strong in favour of largely public healthcare provision that it would be foolish not to accept that, in this case at least, the theory is not borne out by reality.
On a somewhat related note, I would love to see a graph comparing relative performance of the healthcare systems of various countries, if some objective measures can be found.
Life expectancy at birth is the number one measure for public health performance, but All-Age All-Cause mortality is slowly replacing it.
We are already spending $2.64 trillion/year for "healthcare". How much more "innovation" can we afford? 50%, or more, of the GDP? Some of the innovation could be pernicious and destructive.
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