Your per-capita expenditures and results levels are accurate. However, those statistics ignore geographic issues (healthcare for 4.8 million Norwegians in a nation the size of Montana will not be the same as for Montana, with a population of 1 million), as population density or sparsity affect service distribution.
The original comment implied that most of the people in our health care system were making lots of money, and that was the fat.
I would argue that complexity is not fat, but better defined as friction, where it takes more energy (dollars) to manage the system. Creating a simpler, more uniform (but not necessarily federally operated) system would reduce that complexity.
insurance operates at a cost plus general/administrative + profit. That G/A + profit for insurance companies is now limited to 15% by the new regulations, but it's still 15% of the cost of private healthcare.
I believe that the federal government will do no better job of managing insured costs than insurance companies, because we will be replacing government bureaucracy for the G/A + P, and then throwing in politics and vote-buying to boot.
I agree that the overarching complexity of financial reimbursement leads to very large billing and finance departments of hospitals, which are part of the cost structure. The departments are so large because of the need to manage billing and insurance for hundreds of different insurance plans, and the plans vary from state to state. A better approach, I think, would have been to standardize insurance benefits into basic, premium, and comprehensive tiers, restrict the premiums to a 3X range (highest premium no more than 3 times lowest premium in each tier), and remove state-by-state insurance regulation of health insurance. By creating a simpler system, it will eliminate state budgets for insurance regulation and approvals, reduce the complexity of the hospital and insurance financial operation, eliminate the overhead of periodic contract negotiation, and streamline cash flow.
We need to recognize that it is impossible for the federal government to provide every citizen with the same level of care. We don't currently provide citizens with the same level of food, shelter, or transportation services. If we choose to provide everyone with the same level of care, then the average cost will go up, the level of service will go down, and premium services will move out of the system.
I've seen the health system in some government-provided European countries, and there is an active, readily available private health services industry for those who want to pay for it to get better service than the government programs. And some of those countries are now crumbling under their financial obligations.