Well I have an extensive answer for all this, so I may post twice. Let me start off with a personal story:<quoted text>
You are right that our doctors are paid more. We also pay more for operations and for our medicine. How do other countries address this problem?
"...many OECD countries use strong regulation to set prices that hospitals can charge for different services, and some of them even set budgets for how much hospitals can spend. The quality of care delivered in hospitals in these countries are comparable to that in the U.S., and universities are still able to attract the best students to medicine."
"It is difficult to untangle precisely why prices are higher in the U.S., but two things are apparent: U.S. physicians get higher incomes than in other countries and the U.S. uses more expensive diagnostic procedures. More generally, with so many different kinds of insurance, no one organization has a strong incentive to cut out wasteful practices and ensure that all Americans get value for the very high levels of expenditure incurred when they are sick."
I know you hate government regulation, but the countries that regulate healthcare costs and have single payer systems seem to get equivalent service for much less money.
Back in the early 80's when I was delivering and repairing home medical equipment, our company decided to open up a pharmacy. It wasn't a public pharmacy like Drug Mart or anything like that, it was more like a room where a pharmacist could mix prescriptions for our home patents.
After our Monday morning meeting, we all ran to the coffee pot and extended our own meeting. At the time, UPS was on strike so that was the topic for our coffee meeting.
As we discussed the situation, I took note of our newest employee--our pharmacist. She seemed to get angry to the point her face was turning red, but she didn't say a thing.
Finally in haste, she abruptly turned her back and quickly walked away. The RN looked at me as if to say "WTF did we say??"
The coffee crowd broke up and everybody went back to work except me. I was always the last to leave. LOL. At that point, the pharmacist returned. In her hand she had her Pharmacy Magazine. Still mad as hell, she shoved the magazine in my belly and told me to read the section of the article that she highlighted. The article stated (at the time) that the average pharmacist made about $63,000 per year in the US. A UPS package driver made about $57,000 per year.
She said "Do you know what I went through to become a pharmacist? Do you know what my parents went through? For what? To make five grand more than a UPS driver? And their union has the nerve to go on strike??? I should be on strike. If I were a young girl today having this information, I sure as hell wouldn't be here putting this pharmacy together. I would be there (pointing to the overhead door where UPS dropped off) delivering your packages."
This is what's known as the Domino Effect that impacted our healthcare professionals. You can't ask a pharmacist to go through all that school and expense to make nearly the same amount as a UPS worker.