Recently, Forbes contributor Chris Conover took an interesting angle on the problem by calculating the health care costs of the average worker. According to his figures, taking care of the average worker costs $8,953 per year -- the equivalent of 58 days of work.
To make things worse, there's the fact that a lot of health care money is wasted. According to the Institute of Medicine, 30 percent of health care dollars are sucked up by fraud, excessive administration costs, unnecessary or poorly delivered services, inflated prices, or missed prevention opportunities.
It remains to be seen how well Obamacare will be able to ameliorate these problems. Some experts estimate that the program will lower health care costs by encouraging the market to focus on illness prevention. For that matter, its Independent Payment Advisory Board, which is tasked with finding ways to cut the nation's medical bill, could also make the the system leaner. Then again, the current, profit-driven system didn't develop overnight, and it will likely take a concerted effort over the course of several years to turn it around.