Tyler Cowen, the worldliest of worldly philosophers, over at
marginalrevolution links to a fascinating article in The New Yorker about the apparent futility of high levels of health care utilization. A great excerpt:

In recent years, we doctors have markedly increased the number of operations we do, for instance. In 2006, doctors performed at least sixty million surgical procedures, one for every five Americans. No other country does anything like as many operations on its citizens. Are we better off for it? No one knows for sure, but it seems highly unlikely. After all, some hundred thousand people die each year from complications of surgery--far more than die in car crashes.