Despite vociferous criticism from the Republicans & their Tea Party cohorts, a new Columbia University study shows that the Obama's administration's more inclusive semi-European style health care reform are justified. The study shows longer life expectancy, better cost containment & provides consistent overall better services in health care delivery in the European Union. This study documented that the US ranked for female life expectancy at birth 5th in the world back in 1950 but currently dropped to 46th in the world in 2008. As of 2010 the US is ranked 49th in the world overall for life expectancy.
In 1950, the United States was fifth among the leading industrialized nations with respect to female life expectancy at birth, surpassed only by Sweden, Norway, Australia, and the Netherlands. The last available measure of female life expectancy had the United States ranked at forty-sixth in the world.
As of September 23, 2010, the United States ranked forty-ninth for both male and female life expectancy combined.
CBS: U.S. Grapples with High Infant Mortality
Too-Frequent Premature Births Mainly to Blame for U.S.'s 30th-in-the-World Mortality Ranking, Government Study Finds
(AP) Premature births, often due to poor care of low-income pregnant women, are the main reason the U.S. infant mortality rate is higher than in most European countries, a government report said Tuesday.
About 1 in 8 U.S. births are premature. Early births are much less common in most of Europe; for example, only 1 in 18 babies are premature in Ireland and Finland.
As health care in US is so prohibitively expensive, this causes 51 million uninsured Americans not to be able to be insured, therefore according to the National Academy of Sciences this causes the preventable deaths of 18,000 medically uninsured Americans annually.
Lack of health insurance causes roughly 18,000 unnecessary deaths every year in the United States.
Let's please understand that 18,000 is six times more the number of people (numerically) than who died on 9/11. Please let's remember that lives lost due to one tragedy are not more important than lives lost to another tragedy. All human lives are equally valuable. That's why we should adopt a cradle-to-grave universal medical coverage that's for all US residents. In keeping with the old saying, what's more important to a nation than the health of its people?
How bad is it? US hospitals are the best in the world if you can afford them. Many cannot, and an accident or sudden illness can often bankrupt someone.
How does it compare with other countries? It depends how you measure things. The US spends about 16% of GNP on healthcare, far more than France and Germany, which spend 11 to 12%. Yet those countries provide universal care.
What is the biggest problem? Critics say the biggest issue is the profit motive that drives US healthcare.
Though Americans pay for the most expensive health care system in the world, unlike every country in western Europe the US by law doesn't require any paid sick leave. Now what kind of health care outcomes do you suppose that creates for working people?
Roughly 60 million American workers have no paid sick leave, and only a minority can draw pay if they stay home with sick children. The lack of paid leave is especially acute in this country among low-wage workers, food-service workers and part-timers, among others.
Many other countries do better. According to Dr. Jody Heymann, director of the Institute for Health and Social Policy at McGill University, more than 160 countries ensure that all their citizens receive paid sick leave and more than 110 of them guarantee paid leave from the first day of illness.
NY Times: Most Americans Support Paid Sick Leave, Poll Finds
A bill in Congress that would require employers to offer workers seven paid sick days a year has fostered a classic debate between liberals who want government to protect workers, and conservatives who say the last thing business needs is another government-imposed mandate.
Now a new poll by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago shows strong public support for such legislation.
The quote below offers some interesting insight by a way of contrast and comparison between the US and European Union health care systems. To which I would like to ask, which is more supportive of real family values and the American dream for working people, and their families?
BBC: US healthcare 'to blame' for poor life expectancy rates
It finds that US healthcare spending increased at nearly twice the rate of that in other wealthy nations between 1970 and 2002, with the increased spending corresponding with worsening survival rates relative to the other countries studied.
"In most cases, the relative US performance deteriorated from decade to decade," wrote authors Peter Muennig and Sherry Glied of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.
They note the countries to which the US is compared - Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK - all provide universal healthcare coverage.
In closing, this diary wants to give the 403 American billionaires something to be proud of because of their hording of wealth; 50 million Americans don't have health insurance. 60 million American have no paid sick leave. The United States for life expectancy is ranked 49th in the world as of 2010. Infant morality in the US is rated at 30th in the world. The US is the only industrialized nation in the world that doesn't provide paid maternity leave or paid annual leave.
The rate of unionization in the US is lower than any country in western Europe. This would of course ordinarily be a billionaire's badge of shame but they are breaking the country in order to enrich themselves. At which point we would do well to remember that these people have no shame.
According to Forbes, there are 403 billionaires in the U.S. with a collective net worth of $1.3 trillion. Mr. Buffett and Mr. Gates — ranked by Forbes as the two richest men in the country — are leading by example. With a combined net worth of $100 billion...
Did you know that the US has the largest income inequality of any other industrialized country?
What does that say about the American dream and access to health care for uninsured Americans who can't pay private insurance premiums because of inequitable income distribution? What does that say about the European Dream, where everyone has guaranteed cradle-to-grave health insurance?
PBS: Recession Ushers in Widest Income Inequality Gap on Record
The U.S. now has the greatest disparity between the rich and the poor within Western industrialized countries, new Census data show. Timothy Noah of Slate magazine and Howard University professor Roderick Harrison looks at the growing income gap in America.
If America has the overall best health care system in the world, why isn't the rest of the world buying it?
As a closing comment, I would like to ask our readers this one question if I may please. If America has the overall best health care system in the world, why can't we export that system of private for-profit health care to the rest of the world?
We have no problem exporting Wal-Mart, McDonald's and IBM but why can't American insurance companies who have offices all over the world sell their for-profit American health insurance plans in other countries markets?
Should we work for a European style social safety net in America that guarantees, (among other things) universal medical access to all US residents as a basic human right?