FactCheck.org has an article on how we get the fairly misleading number “37th in Health Performance” worldwide. A revealing point is that we’re actually ranked 15th overall, before per capita expense is taken into consideration (a problem current proposals seem unlikely to resolve).
This doesn’t mean there aren’t severe problems with the current healthcare system, though: the 2008 WHO report points out “persistent under-performance of the United States health sector across domains of health outcomes, quality, access, efficiency and equity”, citing
U.S. Health System Performance: A National Scorecard, which notes that US placed 15th in fatalities that were “potentially preventable with timely, effective care”, and scored the nation 66/100. Ouch!