Saturday, May 20, 2017

Capitalism makes us sick

Americans are dying at a high rate from preventable causes. Despite the fact that the U.S. has the largest economy in the world, healthcare for many of its residents is woefully inadequate. The U.S. was tied with Estonia and Montenegro, far below other wealthy nations such as Norway, Canada, and Australia, in the study's ranking of 195 countries.

"America's ranking is an embarrassment, especially considering the U.S. spends more than $9,000 per person on healthcare annually, more than any other country," said Dr. Christopher Murray, senior author of the study and director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. "Anyone with a stake in the current healthcare debate, including elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels, should take a look at where the U.S. is falling short..."What we have found about healthcare access and quality is disturbing," said Dr. Murray. "Having a strong economy does not guarantee good healthcare. Having great medical technology doesn't either. We know this because people are not getting the care that should be expected for diseases with established treatments."

Causes examined by the study include tuberculosis, diarrhea-related diseases, lower and upper respiratory infections, leukemia, breast cancer, Hodgkin's lymphoma, measles, tetanus, appendicitis, epilepsy, diabetes, and others.
"The United States measures well for diseases preventable by vaccines, such as diphtheria and measles, but it gets almost failing grades for nine other conditions that can lead to death," reported the Washington Post. "These are lower respiratory infections, neonatal disorders, non-melanoma skin cancer, Hodgkin's lymphoma, ischemic heart disease, hypertensive heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and the adverse effects of medical treatment itself."

The American health care system generates the healthiest profits of any country in the world. And, hey, isn't that what it's all about? It boils down to an extortion racket, insurance co's, big pharma, and hospital pricing for profit, all add up to a system of waste and excess. The patient is left out of the calculus of pricing schemes. 

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