Michael Moore's recent movie SICKO cites a WHO (World Health Organization) statistic that the US ranks 37th among countries in terms of our health. This aticle presents a new study showing that we've slipped to 42nd.
From the article:
- Countries that surpass the U.S. include Japan and most of Europe, as well as Jordan, Guam and the Cayman Islands.
"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," said Dr. Christopher Murray, head of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.
- Forty countries, including Cuba, Taiwan and most of Europe had lower infant mortality rates than the U.S. in 2004. The U.S. rate was 6.8 deaths for every 1,000 live births. It was 13.7 for Black Americans, the same as Saudi Arabia.
"It really reflects the social conditions in which African American women grow up and have children," said Dr. Marie C. McCormick, professor of maternal and child health at the Harvard School of Public Health. "We haven't done anything to eliminate those disparities."
- Black Americans have an average life expectancy of 73.3 years, five years shorter than white Americans. Black American males have a life expectancy of 69.8 years.
- Murray, from the University of Washington, said improved access to health insurance could increase life expectancy. But, he predicted, the U.S. won't move up in the world rankings as long as the health care debate is limited to insurance.
Policymakers also should focus on ways to reduce cancer, heart disease and lung disease, said Murray. He advocates stepped-up efforts to reduce tobacco use, control blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and regulate blood sugar.
"Even if we focused only on those four things, we would go along way toward improving health care in the United States," Murray said. "The starting point is the recognition that the U.S. does not have the best health care system. There are still an awful lot of people who think it does."
That infant mortality rate is absolutely shameful. What the hell are we doing to our babies? What are we thinking?!
It's time for America to wake up and realize that we're paying for the best, but most of us are living in Third World realities. We can't afford to wait until Bush vacates the White House.
There's a proposal in the House of Representatives right now for a single-payer, universal health care system. HR 676 would provide "Medicare for all" and it wouldn't require additional spending. Read about it here
. It is absolutely possible to turn this around and there's no excuse for us to let these abominable conditions persist.
18,000 people die every year in America because of no health insurance. That's 6
9/11's every year that absolutely don't have to happen. Reps. John Conyers, Dennis Kucinich, Jim McDermott
and Donna Christensen
have paved the way for us - we just have to get it through Congress.
Michael Moore has a form set up to tell your Congressional representatives that you want this bill passed. Please go there
now if you haven't already. It's time to end the Republican/Corporate war on Americans.
Labels: Dennis Kucinich, healthcare, Hell_in_a_handbasket, life_expectancy, Michael_Moore, poverty, racism