"It would be a mistake for people to respond to this by saying we need to spend more money on health care," Woolf said. He noted that our peer countries spend significantly less, but appear to be spending it more effectively.
With "lives and dollars" at stake, the report made several recommendations for the future.
The experts asked the National Institutes of Health to join with international partners to improve the quality of research that could be used to compare peer countries around the world.
They also recommended the NIH commission research on health policies that have been successful in our peer countries that could potentially be used in the United States.
Waiting for more research isn't the answer, Woolf said. Individuals can make changes now, listening to advice about healthy diets and exercise, or making sure to wear their seat belts. As for policy, the panel hopes this report will open a broader discussion about what we value as a nation.