Thursday, December 28, 2017

Dropping Life Expectancy

The typical American baby born in 1979 could expect to live about 73.9 years, while the typical baby born in one of the other 34 OECD countries would live roughly to age 72.3

The average American born 2015 could expect to live a little less than 79 years, while the typical baby born in an OECD country had an expected lifespan of nearly 81 years. In 2016, US life expectancy dropped for the second year in a row.

The US spends thousands of dollars more per capita on health care than any other country in the world, but in return its citizens live shorter lives than those in most other rich nations. The United States is the only OECD country without some sort of universal health care coverage, and as a result millions of Americans currently have no form of health insurance.  Americans are dying younger, in part, because of deliberate policy choices the country has made over the decades: rejecting single-payer health care. Cutting taxes for the rich. Shunning universal basic income. Abandoning universal child care.
 American children start their schooling later in childhood than kids in other rich countries.
– The United States spends far less public money on early childhood education and care than nearly any other OECD country.
– The United States is the only high-income country in the world that does not mandate paid maternity leave.
– Ditto for sick leave and holiday time.
– US unemployment benefits are less generous than in most other OECD countries.
– Housing help in the US is minimal, relative to other wealthy nations.
– Because the American tax code is more generous to the wealthy than tax systems in other rich countries, US income inequality is among the highest in the OECD.
A study published in December of last year found that if these and other social welfare factors were brought up to the OECD average, it would add nearly four years to the collective life expectancy of the American population.

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