The United States has the highest per capita health care costs in the developed world and the worst outcomes for healthcare in the OECD. This is, to a great degree, due to its being the only developed country in the world which does not have national or socialized healthcare but instead relies on commercialized for-profit providers of health insurance.
Driving up the cost of health care is that rather than being considered, as it is in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a fundamental right, to be provided as cost-effectively as possible by the nation as a whole, instead it is an opportunity for profit for corporations. A for profit insurance company or HMO, as any other for-profit organization, has as its primary duty making a profit for its shareholders, and thus a mandate to charge as much as the traffic will bear and not provide services to the unprofitable (people with chronic diseases, etc.) This is also true of drug companies, pharmacies, etc.
The recent affirmation of the Affordable Health Care Act by the Supreme Court is a major step towards remedying both the inefficiencies and gross inequalities of US healthcare, which may eventually lead to the US having the lower costs and better outcomes of other members of the OECD.