Health-care and teaching appear much more expensive today because manufactured goods cost much less. If you look at where people are employed and making a good living, from 1960 to today, it quickly becomes obvious that certain sectors, like manufacturing, have became much smaller due to productivity improvements. Other sectors, like teaching and health care have not benefited from the productivity miracle the same extent. Additionally, certain intangible sectors of the economy that have went from non-existent in 1960 to a significant expenditure today. I'm thinking of finance, including credit cards and student loans, the software industry, and cell/internet companies. These companies have much higher worker-productivity levels than manufacturing has ever achieved. As a result, they employ very few people per profit developed.
Assume that all of the good paying jobs in the economy pay roughly the same amount, and the workers are distributed based on productivity and the realistic material needs/wants levels. It quickly becomes obvious that health care and teaching must be a larger portion of the economy in terms of workers, because we want health-care and education and therefore need the workers in these occupations. On the other hand, manufacturing, software and finance must be smaller portion of the economy in terms of workers, because they need fewer workers and there is an upper limit on the output we could want from these sectors. This macro-economic model applies at both large and small scales. If the overall economy has lots of workers in health-care, then the average person must be spending lots of money in that sector. The same applies to education.
To make it to the post-industrial utopia, we need to:
a) automate health-care and teaching in much the same way we have automated manufacturing, and
b) ensure that the people that lack high-income skill-sets remain useful and contributing members of the economy.
I tend to think America will achieve (a). (b) is tougher.