U.S. health care spending not reflected in world ranking
When we look at other countries, we’re always glad we’re Americans. ,n WKH 8nLWHG 6WaWHs, GRFWRUs wHaU crispy, white lab coats that were drenched in starch. Nurses make us feel secure with their well-ironed RuWfiWs, anG RuU SKaUPaFLHs JHnHUaWH FRnfiGHnFH wLWK a sWaff aOways UHaGy to discuss every prescription you PLJKW KaYH KaG fiOOHG.
,n RWKHU FRunWULHs, wH assuPH they drive too fast on their motorbikes and are anxious to have a sexual relationship without much concern about the consequences. As we analyze the lifestyles of foreigners, we seem shocked to learn that our country is not No. 1 in the world; it is 17th out of 17.
As we invest $9,000 a person on health care in the United States, we spend more on health care than any other major country and yet, the United States comes in last of the top 17 nations of the world. How many more dollars will it take to get us to the top of the list?
The United States has the highest infant mortality rate of any high income country. This country ranks poorly in premature births and the proportion of children who live to age 5. Our adolescents have higher rates of death from WUaffiF aFFLGHnWs anG KRmicide, the highest rate of teenage pregnancy and are more likely to acquire sexually transmitted infections.
We tend to break all records when it comes to GHaWK EHfRUH aJH 50. ,nfants, young children and adolescents die younger in the United States. Men in America have higher rates of disease and injury and die sooner than people in other high income countries. Women are next to last in life expectancy compared to 16 other top nations.
The United States has higher rates Rf GUuJ aEusH anG WUaffiF aFFLGHnWs that involve the intake of alcohol. And, the major negative is the greatHU usH Rf fiUHaUPs Ln aFWs Rf YLROHnFH.
Teenagers are more likely to deliver a low birth weight infant than older women and babies born of teenagers are at a higher risk of dying in infancy. Although the U.S. teen birth rate decreased more than one-third between 1991 and 2005, the rate increased over the next two years and then dropped in 2008 and 2009. The birth rate for U.S. teenagers decreased in 2009 to the lowest level in 70 years.
,n a sWUanJH finGLnJ, wKHn a fHmale is the head of a household and no spouse is present, the poverty level decreased from 50.8 percent to 44.4 percent. However, between 1973 and 2009, the poverty level in the United States in- creased by nearly 20 million.
Risk factors for young mothers are the use of alcohol, cigarette smoking, the illicit use of drugs, physical inactivity, being overweight or obese, elevated cholesterol, an unhealthy diet, elevated blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. Tobacco use from smoking cigarettes continues as the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Each year an estimated 443,000 die from sPRNLnJ RU sHFRnG-KanG sPRNH. ,n 2010, 19 percent of adults aged 25 and older were smokers.
Among those 65 and older, twice as many smokers had less than a high school diploma. Studies have shown that the more educated a person, the less he or she smokes. However, in the last decade, education did not have any effect on decreasing the smoking of those aged 65 and older.
The use of contraception decreased between 1995 and 2008. This country has a high rate of ho- micide and death by suicide. Since 1980, 1,245,787 females committed suicide and 1,075,078 males did also. Poisoning increased fourfold for men and sixfold for women.
Americans have higher rates of disease and injury and die sooner than people in other high income countries. With high rates of drug aEusH anG WUaffiF aFFLGHnWs LnYROYing the use of alcohol and the greater usH Rf fiUHaUPs Ln aFWs Rf YLROHnFH, LW is no surprise that the United States lags behind most nations.
We seem overwhelmed by the number of poor across our land who cannot afford food and medical care. Unfortunately, there have been too few steps taken to solve this problem. Our seniors get good medical care but treatments when a person is near death are expensive.
DHsSLWH RuU sWanGLnJ Ln WKH wRUOG, most people would love to live in America. When you combine the advantages of our freedom with the medical care, we really rank No. 1.
Health & Science Dr. Milton Friedman