We CHOOSE to spend more. There's no Health Authority out there holding a gun to anyone's head and "making" anyone spend more. The level of medical attention -- and the level of technology applied to it -- is VASTLY more than we've spent in the past.The McKinsey Global Institute recently quantified healthcare spending among some OECD nations:
And we do make that choice as much because we can as because we want to. People want to be active longer in their lives, so they actually GET knee-joint replacements in their 80s (Yes, *80s* -- I know someone who did exactly that), something unheard of at any age a mere 50 years ago.
That ain't cheap -- not to develop the ability, nor to implement it.
source: McKinsey charts, page 2
Some of McKinsey's data are questionable--for example, their page 4 already has been rebutted here and here.