Health care: How the U.S. system is designed to waste your money


On Monday, Thomson Reuters released "Where Can $700 Billion in Waste Be Cut Annually from the U.S. Healthcare System," a white paper exploring American health-care costs. The report identified six factors -- administrative inefficiency, provider inefficiency, lack of care coordination, unwarranted use, preventable conditions, and fraud -- that cost the U.S. health-care system roughly $700 billion a year.

That's a shocking figure, but $700 billion is a conservative estimate. The price of waste may be as much as $850 billion annually, the report concluded, and other studies suggest the figure may be closer to $1.2 trillion. Given that the most expensive health-care proposal on the table in Congress would cost about $1 trillion, it's clear that significant industry reform could fund most of the cost of universal health insurance.