Not to be a jerk, +Stephen Kershaw
, but blaming Reagan is against the premise of this topic... Here is something on the reason for the costs associated with healthcare: http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddhixon/2012/03/01/why-are-u-s-health-care-costs-so-high/
My experience in talking with people in the medical field is that the "defensive medicine" is one of the big drivers in health care costs. It is more than just the treatment procedures. There is record-keeping, staffing, etc. This, in turn, raises overhead and drives the GP out of business. I shadowed an ER doctor 15+ years ago, and he referred a patient to a specialist: "I am 99% sure what I am seeing in this x-ray, but I need to make sure that the specialist reviews it to make sure. If I am wrong, I would be liable." My experience was reflected in the study above. Specialization is overtaking my profession in the same manner. There are fewer and fewer GP attorneys because of legal malpractice liability.
I am also curious about the effect experimental and new medicines play in the cost of health care. I know that people from other countries do come to the US for the most advanced treatments. Even in advanced industrialized countries, the US medical schools and research are considered the best. I also wonder how much additional cost this creates to the system.