United States healthcare has faced massive cost increases and government regulations are one big factor.
The Mises Institute out together a great economic post, which is lengthy, but very educational. Below is just a tiny portion:
The U.S. “health care cost crisis” didn’t start until 1965. The government increased demand with the passage of Medicare and Medicaid while restricting the supply of doctors and hospitals. Health care prices responded at twice the rate of inflation (Figure 1). Now, the U.S. is repeating the same mistakes with the unveiling of Obamacare (a.k.a. “Medicare and Medicaid for the middle class”).
Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman wrote that medical price inflation since 1965 has been caused by the rising demand for health-care coupled with restricted supply (Friedman 1992). Robert Alford explained the minority view: “The market reformers wish to preserve the control of the individual physician over his practice, over the hospital, and over his fees, and they simply wish to open up the medical schools in order to meet the demand for doctors, to give patients more choice among doctors, clinics, and hospitals, and to make that choice a real one by public subsidies for medical bills” (Alford 1975).
The majority of policymakers support either monopolization (e.g. typically Republicans) or nationalization.
Since the early 1900s, medical special interests have been lobbying politicians to reduce competition. By the 1980s, the U.S. was restricting the supply of physicians, hospitals, insurance and pharmaceuticals, while subsidizing demand. Since then, the U.S. has been trying to control high costs by moving toward something perhaps best described by the House Budget Committee: “In too many areas of the economy — especially energy, housing, finance, and health care — free enterprise has given way to government control in “partnership” with a few large or politically well-connected companies”