Saturday, June 27, 2009

WE'RE NUMBER 37!! WE'RE NUMBER 37!!

Democratic Underground member and all around smart guy "and_justice_for_all" offers an opening post entitled "A Global Perspective of Universal Health Care Systems."

As prologue, he writes:

I think we all know what drives this country into a wall, the same thing over and over again... Profits. American greed is prevalent in many, if not most, sectors of our industries and this includes health care. Which, to me, is one of several sectors that should in fact not be for profit.

I would like to say "why do we learn the hard way?", but the fact of the matter is, that WE did not decide how our health care system was to be run. Instead of learning from those countries that made universal health care a priority and a not for profit system, our fearless leaders chose to do the complete opposite. If some one is doing something that clearly works and works well, it is a good idea to follow suit and lose the macho bullshit.
After listing 10 countries with highly efficient, functional and successful single-payer systems in place now, he ends with this spot-on comment:
For any Senator, especially for the Cons, to tell us that Universal Health Care is a "no" is complete and utter bullshit. It is sad and appalling that this country is run by corporations and not its citizenry. For Reps to deny us all Health Care for the sake of profits, when it is very much obtainable, is equivalent to murder.
Yup... the only one among the World Health Organization's list of 19 "wealthy, industrialized countries " where lack of medical insurance is a capital crime.

USA!! USA!! USA!!

We're Number 37!! We're Number 37!! We're Number 37!!


Just keep repeating it and maybe eventually it'll lose its sting. But not its effects on the great American death machine.

Meanwhile, here's a few stats that describe the intrinsic wonderfulness of the US medical insurance scam:

Overall quality, fairness of access to and effectiveness of medical system -- 37th -- just ahead of that medical nirvana, Slovenia and behind Costa Rica, where there may not be an ATM in every little wide spot in the road, but there's nearly always a medical clinic, open to all, regardless of ability to pay -- UN/World Health Organization summary of a 2000 study comparing the medical systems of 190 countries.

Annual per capita cost of funding medical system -- 1st (around $6,400 then; approaching $8,200 today; inevitably more next year). Nobody's even close. All this great news comes from a 2005 study comparing health expenditures per capita among 31 countries tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Preventable deaths per year due solely to lack of medical insurance -- 22,000 -- last -- Urban Institute (2007).

As this guy says, "Not surprisingly, the United States ranks last in preventable deaths compared to 14 Western European nations." Larry Weiss, public health researcher (retired).

Christopher Murray, M.D., Ph.D., Director of WHO's Global Programme on Evidence for Health Policy, offers a more global analysis. "The position of the United States is one of the major surprises of the new rating system," Murray says. "Basically, you die earlier and spend more time disabled if you're an American rather than a member of most other advanced countries."

It's only a surprise if you don't live here, Dr. Murray. If you do, it's just another facet of routine, systemic corporate abuse the US peasantry has apparently been willing to live with for well over a century, even as the noose tightens and the predatory practices become so obvious even our tens of millions of dysfunctional TEE VEE-trained bliss ninnies occasionally catch on.

Happily, some are making out like the successful criminals they are. Warms the heart, doesn't it?

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