Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: Ailing Americans' Abysmal Health Care & Lousy Life Expectancy Expose...

14 August 2007

Ailing Americans' Abysmal Health Care & Lousy Life Expectancy Expose...

Even as old Brits long used to wondering why & how in the world our American cousins can't (even in this the 21st century), come up with some sort of civilised National Health Service similar to ours, an absolutely amazing report in today's 'Guardian' took us completely by surprise.

In fact, to say it came as a truly terrible shock to us, is in all probability one of our understatements of the year decade.

How's this for a horror story?

US tumbles down the world ratings list for life expectancy

Ewen MacAskill in Washington and agencies
Monday August 13, 2007
The Guardian

A combination of expensive health insurance and an ever-increasing rate of obesity appear to be behind a startling fall by the US in the world rankings of life expectancy.

Despite being one of the richest countries in the world, America has dropped from 11th to 42nd place in 20 years, according to official US figures.

Dr Christopher Murray, head of the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, said: "Something's wrong here when one of the richest countries in the world, the one that spends the most on health care, is not able to keep up with other countries."
Read the rest of this report re: the 'shock & awe' state of the increasingly, sickly United States.

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Anonymous Rex said...

One of the things that always amazes me is that so many Americans are just too 'proud' to admit how badly off they are when it comes to healthcare.

If this wasn't the case then I'm sure a massive united front would change things pretty soon. The pharma health lobbyist may pay the politicians big bucks, but it's the people who decide which politicians are put in place to begin with.

11:22 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not completely off-topic, Rick; perhaps more pertinent to your previous article on Rove, but it's a mind-blower, nonetheless:

'Johnny Cash v. George W. Bush' :

Wonder how long it will be before it tops the Net charts?

"Spread the word, brother!"


1:17 pm  
Blogger Moon Rattled said...

If Sicko's made it over to England, it's definitely worth seeing. The film focuses on the people who are insured. I'd assumed that if you had health insurance you would be treated for life threatening illnesses as well as the mundane ones, but apparently insurance is about turning down patients to keep profits up and paying doctors to say no to treatement. It's a shocking, insightful film. America sucks.

8:44 pm  
Anonymous mark1147 said...

It's due to the triumph of the bean-counter mentality in every sphere over the past 25 years (approx. since Reagan became president) -- and in every sphere: not only commercial but in all walks of life, public and private. The notion that the core criterion of merit is profit, adding value, more more more cash flowing in (and conversely less and less flowing out), to achieve a "healthy bottom line."

Letting number-crunchers have the final say in what can be life-or-death decisions was sold as a way to hold down accelerating health care costs ... first, by assuming that the Invisible Hand of The Free Market, Inc. would arrive at the optimal balance of supply and demand (and so set a fair price for health services). And second, by assuming that people's health responds to market signals!

Sheer insanity.

I live in a continent-wide asylum, unfortunately one well-stocked with both nukes and billionaires, neither of which does a damn thing for me if I get sick.

10:27 am  

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