Cutler (Harvard & NBER) 's work on value of medical spending featured in NYT Upshot
"Is Our Health Care Spending Worth It?" - New York Times: The Upshot. 5/20/2019.
For example, according to research by the Harvard economist David Cutler and colleagues, reduced smoking rates and other changes known to have big effects on mortality — like fewer deaths from auto accidents — can explain only 21 percent of the nearly eight-year increase in longevity between 1960 and 2000. So it’s not implausible that the health system could explain a fairly large share of the rest of that gain.
Mr. Cutler’s work also compared the life-lengthening benefits of the health system with what it costs. In total, each additional year of life gained between 1960 and 2000 attributed to the health system cost nearly $20,000. When focused just on the same gain for 65-year-olds, the average cost was about $85,000.