Why is the healthcare system in the United States so inefficient compared to healthcare systems in other countries? (put another way, why do I have to pay $250/month for bad health insurance?) If there are any introductory papers on healthcare that you could recommend, I would be interested in reading.
Healthcare and healthcare insurance in the United States have been the focus of much research by hundreds of health economics in the last several decades. There are many complex economic issues involved. As a first step, I recommend you take a look at the health insurance chapters in Jonathan Gruber's "Public Finance and Public Policy" textbook: https://www.macmillanlearning.com/college/us/product/Public-Finance-and-Public-Policy/p/1319105254