Half a world away from the U.S. health-care debate, Japan has a system that costs half as much and often achieves better medical outcomes than its American counterpart. It does so by banning insurance company profits, limiting doctor fees and accepting shortcomings in care that many well-insured Americans would find intolerable.
But many health-care economists say Japan's low-cost system is probably not sustainable without significant change. Japan already has the world's oldest population; by 2050, 40 percent will be 65 or older. The disease mix is becoming more expensive to treat.
So, public intervention of the medical system is obviously bad. The problem is that the Japanese health system makes the mistake of failing to let enough people die. The article does admit that a healthy lifestyle is also a factor, but let's hope that the US does not follow Japan.