Sunday, July 11, 2010

Statistics to keep in mind in the healthcare debate

These statistics are readily available through the World Health Organization and easily the most reliable data on the subject that exist.These are the most recent statistics available through the organization. I did not get these figures from any sort of activist organization, I looked them up myself with the sole intention of educating myself and those I care about. These are not opinions, they are facts.

-In 2006 the United States spent $6714 per person on health care, more than any other country in the world.

-In 2006 the United States probability of dying between 15 to 60 years of age was ranked behind 42 other countries, just behind Panama and the Czech Republic.

-As of 2006 the United States Life expectancy at birth was 78, 32nd in the world.

-As of 2003 the United States Healthy life expectancy was 69, 30th in the world.

-As of 2005 the United States Maternal Mortality rate was ranked behind 33 other countries.

-As of 2004 the United States Neonatal Mortality rate was behind 31 other countries.

-As of 2006 the United States Under-5 Mortality rate was behind 37 other countries.

-In 2006 the United States Infant Mortality rate, the most accurate measure of the quality of health care in a society, was ranked behind 38 other countries, including Cuba, Croatia, Estonia, Poland, Hungary and Belarus and behind ALL other developed nations in the world.

After reading these figures I would hope that it has become clear that the debate in this country should not be whether or not we should change our health care system, but how we should change our health care system. We are not getting our money's worth here. As a die-hard free-market enthusiast I know it is hard to hear, but our reliance on nothing but the free market to take care of our health care needs has failed us. It's pretty clear to me that it is time to consider something else.

Why would we not look to other countries who are doing better by every measure available and see why it is working so well for them? No scary rhetoric, no propaganda, lets look at facts.

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