American Life Expectancy Decreases

Discovery News reports that Life Expectancy Rating Slips for United States.  If found this to be quite surprising.  An excerpt from the statistics:

“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 Christopher Murray, head of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

A baby born in the United States in 2004 will live an average of 77.9 years. That life expectancy ranks 42nd, down from 11th two decades earlier, according to international numbers provided by the Census Bureau and domestic numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Of course, the real question is related to the cause of the decline.  Here’s another quote that seems to offer a potential explanation:

Researchers said several factors have contributed to the United States falling behind other industrialized nations. A major one is that 45 million Americans lack health insurance, while Canada and many European countries have universal health care, they say.

Other factors include obesity, cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and high infant mortality.

Our healthcare system is a symbol of unbridled greed and profiteering, as well as a model of inefficiency.  The United States has regressed in so many other ways: we’re one of the most violent nations on Earth, we have a President that has openly stated that God told him to attack another country, and the levels of corruption in government are extreme for a country with an educated population.  I really like the closing quote:

“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.”

On second thought, maybe this finding isn’t all that surprising…

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