One huge reason that things cost so much more here is regulatory compliance. That is fairly minimal in directly government-run systems as the government isn't very interested in grossly running up its own costs in a fully socialized sytem. But with independent contractors, sure, make them document everything in quadruplicate and check 187 checkboxes in a very clunky inefficient mandated electronic medical record system for every patient visit and spend billions and billions of dollars in complying with arcane HIPAA, JCAHO and CMS regulations. (Note that the one fully socialized system in the U.S., the VA, is exempt from all of that.) And then fine them/reduce their reimbursements if they don't jump through all of the hoops properly. It saves the government a little money but costs the healthcare system as a whole a fortune.
The whole bit about "poorer outcomes" is mainly a combination of cherry-picked facts and factors well outside of the control of the healthcare system. For example, infant mortality in the U.S. as reported by the "socialized medicine is teh awesome" crowd is higher than most European countries. Why? We have a very different method of counting what a live birth is than Europe (they count a lot of extremely preterm births as "nonviable stillbirths," we do not), and when we use the same metrics as they do, our stats suddenly look a bunch better. Our survival rate for extremely preterm births is #1 in the world and also cancer mortality is very low as well. You don't see them touting those stats though. We do have some issues with certain populations essentially ignoring their health (such as having a higher smoking rate than most of Europe) but that is a cultural issue and has remained very resistant to even massive interventions by the healthcare field. You can't blame the healthcare field in the U.S. for that.
So, while a 60 year old woman may not be running up maternity costs, others are and she is paying for it indirectly.
2. Medicare and Medicaid pay for something like 75% of all medical charges in the country and they absolutely are decreasing what they pay hospitals and physicians (to the point they generally pay below the actual cost of providing services, especially Medicaid.) They are highly incentivized to reduce costs because it makes the federal and state budget deficits associated with their operation smaller.
3. Physician and hospital reimbursement is largely determined by Medicare. If you participate in Medicare (nearly all doctors and facilities do), your pricing structures are essentially set by CMS's "allowable charges" as laid out in the RVBRS. The actual reimbursements paid also don't vary much as private insurers know what Medicare pays (it's public) and stick pretty close to the Medicare rates.
The really screwy thing about healthcare it's essentially a government run market and health "insurance" is a third-party prepayment system. If we wanted to decrease the out of pocket for most people, it would be in having health insurance revert to actual catastrophic insurance instead of being a prepaid system and allowing balance billing (the patient pays the difference between the charged amount and what insurance pays.) That would currently be against several laws but the only reason it's illegal is that it makes a lot of sense, and would result in a relatively small number of people in highly politically valuable groups losing a bunch of discounts, subsidies, and freebies.
There are multiple medical studies that prove that the ability of the human eye to discriminate between images over approximately 30 Hz is limited and discrimination over 60 Hz just doesn't happen. There is a lot of evidence in the environment to back that up. Movies recorded on film are shot at 24 Hz (fps). Most digital video is 29.997 Hz. The frequency of AC electricity was set at 50-60 Hz due to that being more than enough to cause a tungsten filament to appear to be constantly glowing to the human eye instead of flickering. Same with the 60 Hz (in effect, 30 Hz) refresh with the interlaced scan of the glowing phosphors of an old CRT computer monitor. I'd strongly bet that you could not reliably tell the difference between an otherwise similar 60 Hz setup and your 120 Hz setup if you were in fact blinded to which one you were using.
That being said, having a GPU capable of framerates over 60 Hz (60 fps) isn't a bad idea at all, because the minimum framerate there is really what matters more than the maximum. A GPU only able to muster 60 fps max might very well dip into the 20s during difficult parts and you can certainly see that. That's a different issue than having a monitor capable of >60 Hz refresh.
They will probably be available in a year or two. We moved from hackish 30 Hz split-input panels to native 60 Hz single-input panels in about a year. However anything beyond 60 Hz is pretty much useless except for bragging rights as you can't see it anyway. Broadcast TV and movies are shot at 29.997 and 24 Hz, respectively. The lack of benefit of higher refresh rates is especially true on a display that is capable of displaying static images like an LCD.
The point of the first two years of med school are to prepare you take Step 1 and to provide a reason for employment for some pretty useless PhDs. Let's not kid ourselves here.
Besides, about half of what you learn in your M1 year is obsolete by the time you graduate. Take notes with pen and paper, cram for the cram-and-dump trivia regurgitation test (which is what all med school tests are) and then throw away the notes after the test as they are useless and worthless. Anything that you really want to remember later can be found easily on UpToDate or a similar site and will be up to date instead of likely outdated.
The thing we are forgetting here is that how the bridge funding was supposed to have been thought of is "well, we residents of this area need a bridge here, here's $100M of our tax dollars to do so." Not this "the government is its own entity" junk. But that's what has been happening when the funding and decision making moves away from locals deciding how to spend their money to a big nebulous "black box" of a federal bureaucracy taking money from some people in one area and spending it somewhere wholly different.
I didn't known Penn and Teller had an account on Slashdot...
A junkie is not likely to go and complain? I take it you do not work in medicine. They usually complain the loudest and most obscenely.