Those whose arguments are empty of fact are usually full of shit. --David Porter
Get it out there. Call, write, talk, inform.

Monday, March 22, 2010

How Healthy is the Rest of the World?

Republicans have been claiming over and over and over again that the United States has the best health care in the world. But is that a true statement? How do you measure or rate a healthcare system? Do you go by the number of people seen by doctors? The number of people who come to your country for care? The cost? The access? Well a very good measure of how good a country's health care is how long the people live--Life Expectancy. Another great indicator of good health care is how many babies die-- Infant Mortality. Guess where the U.S. is on both those lists.

Top Ten Countries with Highest Life Expectancy:
1.Andorra (near France): 83.51
2.Macau (near China): 82.19
3.San Marino (in Italy): 81.71
4.Singapore: 81.81
5.Hong Kong: 81.59
6.Japan: 81.25
7.Sweden: 80.51
8.Switzerland: 80.51
9.Australia: 80.50
10.Guernsey (in the English Channel): 80.42

Worst Ten Countries by Life Expectancy:
1.Swaziland: 32.63
2.Botswana: 33.74
3.Lesotho: 34.40
4.Zimbabwe: 39.29
5.Liberia: 39.65
6.Mozambique: 39.82
7.Zambia: 40.03
8.Sierra Leone: 40.22
9.Malawi: 41.70
10.South Africa: 42.73
11.Djibouti: 43.17

Other Countries of Interest:
1.Canada: 80.22
2.Italy: 79.81
3.France: 79.73
4.Germany: 78.80
5.United Kingdom: 78.54
6.United States: 77.85
7.Mexico: 75.41
8.China: 72.58
9.Iraq: 69.08
10.Russia: 67.08

Here's another list by the U.N.

Infant Mortality Rate by Country (source: the U.S. C.I.A.)
This entry gives the number of deaths of infants under one year old in a given year per 1,000 live births in the same year; included is the total death rate, and deaths by sex, male and female. This rate is often used as an indicator of the level of health in a country.

On the Infant Mortality list, the closer to #1 you are, the more baby deaths you have. In infant mortality, the U.S. has MORE baby deaths than the U.K., ALL the Nordic countries, South Korea, and even Slovenia.

Rank # of deaths/1,000
180 United States 6.22 2009 est.
194 United Kingdom 4.85 2009 est.
198 Netherlands 4.73 2009 est.
203 Denmark 4.34 2009 est.
204 South Korea 4.26 2009 est.
221 Japan 2.79 2009 est.

Below is a list of industrialized countries with some form of universal health care.

United Kingdom
New Zealand
Czech Republic
South Korea

Now please refer to the list “Top Ten Countries with Highest Life Expectancy” How many countries with highest life expectancy are also on the list of countries that have Universal, government-run health care? Coincidence? No.

The only “modern” country without UHC? The United States.

The lesson of the day is Sometimes it’s okay to go along with the crowd, because the crowd may know better than you do.

America does not have the best health care in the world. We do have great health care, among the best in the world, but not the best in the world for ALL of our citizens. But with the passage of Health Care Reform we might become the best.

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