People In 41 Countries Live Longer Then Americans

You would expect the article, as posted at the LA Times, to be a big call for socialized health care, but, alas, it seems as if they just slapped up the full AP article without injecting their leftist viewpoint

Americans are living longer than ever, but not as long as people in 41 other countries.

For decades, the United States has been slipping in rankings of life expectancy, as other countries improve healthcare, nutrition and lifestyles.

So, we are still continuing to live longer, but, some other countries are beating us out. I wonder why?

Researchers say several factors have contributed to the United States falling behind other industrialized nations. A major one, they say, is that 47 million people in the United States lack health insurance, whereas Canada and many European countries have universal healthcare.

But "it’s not as simple as saying, ‘We don’t have national health insurance,’ " said Samuel B. Harper, an epidemiologist at McGill University in Montreal. "It’s not that easy."

It’s definately not that simple. Especially since the lack of health care insurance will not stop someone from being treated in a hospital. Health care insurance does not necessarily make people healthier, anyhow, particularly if people are not eating well, not excercising, drinking too much, smoking, and doing drugs. Are prosperity is leading to people being fatter, as so many studies have born out.

What else is there?

  • Adults in the United States have one of the world’s highest obesity rates. Nearly a third of those 20 or older are obese, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. "The U.S. has the resources that allow people to get fat and lazy," said Paul D. Terry, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Emory University in Atlanta. "We have the luxury of choosing a bad lifestyle as opposed to having one imposed on us by hard times."
  • Racial disparities. Black Americans’ average life expectancy is 73.3 years, five years less than white Americans’. Black American males have a life expectancy of 69.8 years, slightly shorter than in Nicaragua and Morocco.

The article then points out

"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."

In other words, liberal policies which keep blacks in abject poverty and governmentally dependent are once again proven to be bad policies.

Murray said improved access to health insurance could increase life expectancy. But he said he doubted that the United States would move up in the rankings as long as the healthcare debate was limited to insurance. He said policymakers also should focus on reducing cancer, heart disease and lung disease. He advocates stepped up efforts to reduce tobacco use, control blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and regulate blood sugar.

Of course, excercise is surely meant to be a part of what Murray is pushing, but it should be stated explicitly.

But, really, it should be improved access to health care, not the insurance. I will not claim to be an expert in this area, but, just because one has health care insurance, doesn’t mean they are using it. I do not think anyone can prove that assertion wrong, either. Men with insurance, how many times have you been sick or injured, and not gone to see a doctor? How often do you go see the doctor for a checkup? Once a year? Once every 5 years? Only when you are really, really sick?

The cost of insurance needs to be reduced, and that could be done through limiting the frivilous lawsuits against doctors and the exhorberant payouts. Yes, some people do deserve them. So many do not.

Also, reduce the costs of medications, through relaxing the burdensome governmental regulations on the drug companies and researchers.

What I would like to see are the reasons that those in other countries are living longer. Might there be something like "It will take forever to get in to see a doctor, so, I better take good care of myself to avoid getting sick or injured"?

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3 Responses to “People In 41 Countries Live Longer Then Americans”

  1. John Ryan says:

    Health care in USA costs are about 1 trillion dollars per year. Of those 1000 billion dollars, please show a link as to the costs of “frivilous” law suits. What percentage do you think that this is of the total health care costs ?
    Please show a link.
    Socialized medicine is good enough for our vets and our government workers and for those over 65 Exactly who do you think deserves better ?

  2. Diesel says:

    Not to mention that the U.S. foots the bill for medical research so that the people in those countries can get cheap drugs and access to technology through their socialized systems to help them live longer.

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