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To rein in healthcare costs in Delaware, we can look to Maryland for inspiration | Opinion

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Special to the USA TODAY Network

Of the many problems in American healthcare, the sheer cost of medical care is perhaps the thorniest. American per capita spending on healthcare is approximately $12,000 per person , over $4,000 more than the second-place finisher, Switzerland.

The implications of our enormous healthcare spend are significant. More spending on healthcare means less money for schools, for infrastructure, for law enforcement, for clean energy. The oft-repeated refrain that the U.S. government is a military with a health insurance business is not far from the truth; healthcare comprises about 20% of government expenditures. And with the Medicare trust fund set to run out in 2028 , the urgency to curb healthcare costs increases every year.

Why do we spend so much more than other countries? This problem has plagued health policy experts for the last several decades. Some argued that Americans use healthcare services more than citizens of other countries, thereby driving up costs — but this theory turned out not to be true . Instead, a simpler explanation exists: American healthcare is so expensive because the prices are higher . Or as the refrain goes, “ it’s the prices stupid .”

Delaware happens to be an especially high-cost […]

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