Why waste health care dollars?

The United States ranks first among nations in health-care expenditures, but No. 37 in health status. Other countries are spending significantly less money and getting better results, writes Elena Marks,  Baker Institute scholar in health policy, in a recent Houston Chronicle op-ed.

One of the reasons, she contends, is that the United States doesn’t spend its health care dollars very effectively. Too often, she says, spending decisions reflect emotion, rather than science. More health care, she argues, is not always better:

“If we want to take advantage of opportunities to reduce costs and improve quality at the same time, we will have to get past the belief that more care is necessarily better for our bodies and our wallets. And we will have to listen to scientists even if we don’t want to hear what they’re saying.”