13 November 2009

US ranks a pathetic 42nd in life expectancy

This sort of statistic doesn't seem to get much attention from the US mainstream media. But the UK newspaper The Guardian recently reported that "[d]espite spending $230m (£115m) an hour on healthcare, Americans live shorter lives than citizens of almost every other developed country. And while it has the second-highest income per head in the world, the United States ranks 42nd in terms of life expectancy."

These numbers were derived from a new report funded by Oxfam America, the Conrad Hilton Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Those numbers are not surprising when you consider that the US also ranks 37th in the World Health Organization's ratings of the world's health systems (below Malta, Iceland, Saudi Arabia, and numerous other countries that might surprise you).

So, the next time some Republican tells you that we don't need health care reform because the US already has the best health care in the world, ask him why then we have shorter lifespans than almost any other developed nation.

Just don't expect a straight answer.

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