The second fact appeared in a NYT article reporting on how nursing homes are frequently understaffed; the first did not. As many doctors angrily told me after reading a column I did on the protections that inflate doctors' pay, nursing assistants save lives.

Yes, we pay lots of money for health care in this country, more than twice as much as the average for other wealthy countries. Unfortunately, we don't have better outcomes to justify this spending. A big part of this story is how much we pay our doctors and how little we pay less politically powerful workers in the health care industry. (Yes, inflated drug and medical equipment prices and a cesspool insurance industry are also big parts of the story, all discussed in Rigged [it's free].)