The US's health care costs exceed income-adjusted OECD averages the most in:
1. Outpatient care (by 436 bil, or 51%), which includes many discretionary services. It's been shown http://www.overcomingbias.com/2007/05/rand_health_ins.html
that medical spending actually has zero marginal value, so much of this is likely just plain unnecessary.
2. Drugs and nondurables (by 98 bil, or 39%), which is largely the work of the patent system. Notice how relatively small this category is (145/2053 billion total spending).
3. Health administration and insurance (by 91 bil, or 63%), which is partially the work of the excessive spending on advertising but is also connected to the issue of litigiousness.http://mdsalaries.blogspot.ca
The US has the highest medical salaries (http://mdsalaries.blogspot.ca/
) for general practitioners and nurses and the third highest for specialists - for this some blame licensing (cheap doctors from Vietnam can't just import themselves here) and many cite the issue of the US's higher educational system (medical school costs a lot of money that students don't have).