The quality of care that is _available_ in the US is the highest in the world. Yep, its expensive - we have a sue-happy society that sends malpractice lawsuits into court more than anywhere else in the world and that is expensive because it causes hideous malpractice insurance premiums.
We've had tort reform in some states. The effects seem to indicate that the cost of malpractice is responsible for a few percent of our healthcare costs.
I suspect what's driving our healthcare costs is that good healthcare isn't cost competitive. Our healthcare for most of us is covered by insurance companies through work. We change jobs frequently. Yet health problems can take years to have serious (and costly) effects. It's not cost competitive to prevent a problem that another company will likely end up paying for.
It's like the difference between owning a car you know you'll replace in five years and owning a car you will replace in twenty-five years - you're going to be much more diligent about preventing problems in the car you'll own for five times as long, because you'll be paying for the costly effects of poor maintenance.