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View Diary: In a Moment of Crisis: Canadian vs. US Healthcare (62 comments)

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  •  I posted previously on this (4+ / 0-)

    http://www.dailykos.com/...
    It's a summary of my experiences with Canadian health care. I concur with the top diary post.

    Also maybe worth a mention, life expectancy:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/...
    Canada 80.34 yrs
    US 78.06 yrs

    I've looked those rates up at more reputable sites than Wikipedia previously and they check out.

    I'm sure one could debate some other reasons for the difference (ie I think Canada is less violent) but regardless, there's nothing to indicate Canadians are suffering in life expectancy due to the difference in health care approach.

    This 2007 WaPo article raises some of the reasons (including health care):
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    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.

    But "it's not as simple as saying we don't have national health insurance," said Sam Harper, an epidemiologist at McGill University in Montreal. "It's not that easy."

    Among the other factors:

    _ Adults in the United States have one of the highest obesity rates in the world. Nearly a third of U.S. adults 20 years and older are obese, while about two-thirds are overweight, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

    "The U.S. has the resources that allow people to get fat and lazy," said Paul 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 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, slightly longer than the averages for Iran and Syria and slightly shorter than in Nicaragua and Morocco.

    _ A relatively high percentage of babies born in the U.S. die before their first birthday, compared with other industrialized nations.

    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."

    Another reason for the U.S. drop in the ranking is that the Census Bureau now tracks life expectancy for a lot more countries 222 in 2004 than it did in the 1980s. However, that does not explain why so many countries entered the rankings with longer life expectancies than the United States.

    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.

    47 million Americans without health care can't be good for the life expectancy average no matter what else anyone might say.

    •  Single payer (HR-676) doesn't start from scratch (0+ / 0-)

      It builds on the one part of our mish-mush that has a proven forty-year history: traditional medicare.

      I agree the profit-driven private health insurance system can never be made to work for the Good of the Whole.  Its goals are perverce and contrary to ours.

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