The Kaiser Family Foundation released a report yesterday that some will find shocking. It found that the average cost of a family insurance plan is growing twice as fast as inflation, and has doubled since 1999. This is likely to lead to more calls to reduce healthcare costs. But David Leonhardt's column in today's New York Times puts things in a more reasonable perspective. Yes, healthcare costs used to be cheap half a century ago, but back then no one expected much from healthcare, nor for it to make much of an impact on longevity. But today's expensive healthcare, including new medical devices, does have a significant impact on longevity. Of course waste does exist in the system, and we should do our best to eliminate it. But innovation costs money. Would we trade those costs for a shorter lifespan?