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France best, U.S. worst in preventable death ranking

Dying_homeless_person On January 8, 2008 Reuters reported on a study in Health Affairs which found that the United States is the worst country out of the leading 19 industrialized countries in preventing deaths due to treatable conditions.

This is outrageous. It seems that Michael Moore's film, Sicko, is accurate in depicting the state of health care in the United States.

When the Bush Administration says that the United States has the best health care system in the world, what they don't tell you is that this applies only to those Americans with money and health insurance. The other 47 million Americans without health insurance or money to pay for it are going to die prematurely.

This is a major campaign issue in the 2008 campaign. The hell with gay marriage, abortion, and fear mongering about terrorists. Terrorists are not going to kill you, the lack of health care may. It is estimated that 101,000 Americans die each year from preventable health problems which could have been treated. About 2,900 Americans died on 9/11. Since that time 3 quarters of a million Americans have died from lack of health care. Why are we spending billions and billions of dollars on a pre-emptive, immoral war in Iraq while Americans are dying at home?

Here is a snippet from the Reuters article:

France, Japan and Australia rated best and the United States worst in new rankings focusing on preventable deaths due to treatable conditions in 19 leading industrialized nations, researchers said on Tuesday.

If the U.S. health care system performed as well as those of those top three countries, there would be 101,000 fewer deaths in the United States per year, according to researchers writing in the journal Health Affairs.

Researchers Ellen Nolte and Martin McKee of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine tracked deaths that they deemed could have been prevented by access to timely and effective health care, and ranked nations on how they did.

They called such deaths an important way to gauge the performance of a country's health care system.

Nolte said the large number of Americans who lack any type of health insurance -- about 47 million people in a country of about 300 million, according to U.S. government estimates -- probably was a key factor in the poor showing of the United States compared to other industrialized nations in the study.

Link: MedlinePlus: France best, U.S. worst in preventable death ranking.


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