People spend more on medicine because advancing technology creates more and better options for improving life and health. On the ball and chain side, government intervention enables people to profligately spend money that is not their own - at least until the rationing kicks in. Government regulation raises the costs of medicine with no matching gain in quality or effectiveness. Despite the immense damage done through politics and short term greed, gains are still worth it in pure utilitarian terms: researchers "estimated that from birth, the increased life expectancy since 1960 -- approximately seven years, from 69.90 to 76.87 years - has cost $19,900 per added year of life. ... Comparing this $19,900 against the value of a year of life as defined by insurance companies and medical decision-makers - a figure that ranges from $50,000 to $200,000, according to different statistical estimates - [the researchers] judged the increase in medical costs to be a good value. ... By contrast, persons age 65 and older have increased their longevity by just 3.5 years since 1960, with a cost of $84,700 for each year of added life."