Apr 25, '07
Tom Daschle made an interesting point:
Furthermore, we are falling behind in basic health measures such as life expectancy and infant mortality. When considering factors such as access, funding, and quality of care, the World Health Organization ranked the U.S. health system as only the 37th in the world.
A second myth holds that we can’t afford to do any better. But consider that over 15 percent of our economy is spent annually on health care. Per person, we spend 50 percent more than Switzerland, the nation that ranks second in per capita spending. Americans pay for half of the drug industry’s profits worldwide. And despite spending the most, we leave 46 million Americans out – those who lack health coverage.
Health care is a complex topic, but myths should not cover up a simple truth: We are wasting money by paying top dollar for mediocre results.
12 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT AMERICA’S UNINSURED
- Nearly 44 million Americans have no health insurance. That number exceeds the combined population of 24 states.
- Some 18,000 people die prematurely every year as a result of having no insurance. That’s the equivalent of six September 11ths every year.
- Last year, the number of people without health insurance increased by 2.4 million, the largest increase in a decade.
- Middle-income households accounted for the greatest increase in the number of uninsured in 2002.
- The majority of uninsured Americans are neither poor by official standards nor unemployed. In fact, seven out of ten uninsured Americans come from families where one adult works.
- Racial and ethnic minorities account for over half of the uninsured.
- Over one million Americans lost their employer-sponsored coverage last year. Without job-based group coverage, private insurance can be unattainable or unaffordable.
- The uninsured are more likely to live sicker and die younger. Uninsured people with terminal illnesses are often diagnosed later and lack access to life-saving technology.
- Uninsured women with breast cancer are twice as likely to die from the disease than women who are insured.
- Having insurance improves overall health and could reduce mortality rates for the uninsured by 10-15%.
- The U.S. spends a higher proportion of its economy on health care than any other industrialized country, even those that provide universal health care.
- If the U.S. provided universal health care under the current system, the cost of insuring everyone would increase spending by less than one percent.
Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation, The New York Times, U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Institute of Medicine.
Every man, woman and child has the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.
—Universal Declaration Of Human Rights
Last edit by HM2VikingRN on Apr 25, '07