Study Affirms Value of U.S. Health Care Spending

The August 31, 2006, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine includes a study on U.S. health care spending since 1960. The report, prepared by a Harvard economist, a Veterans Affairs Department public health expert, and a University of Michigan research physician “compared gains in life expectancy with the increased costs of care from 1960 through 2000.” The report surprisingly concludes that “On average, the increases in medical spending since 1960 have provided reasonable value” in terms of increased life span. The study has attracted a lot of press attention.