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A Thousand Words, Another Failure

A picture is sometimes worth a thousand words. This one is worth a thousand questions:

Pardon the difficulty in reading the picture; you may see it in readable format here. Essentially, the graph plots health care expenditures by country against life expectancy by  country. The US per capita health care spending greatly exceeds all other countries, yet US life expectancy does not compare favorably with other developed nations spending substantially less. The US spends almost $11,000 per capita on healthcare and achieves a (declining) life expectancy of 77.3 years (less than what was recorded 25 years ago). A discussion of this disturbing data can be found here.

There are numerous countries with life expectancy levels higher than the US and none of them spends anywhere near what the US does on healthcare costs. One example is Chile who almost $10,000 per year less per capita on healthcare and has an 80.3 life expectancy. There are many others with better statistics than the US.

Obviously, something is wrong with either our culture or our healthcare system (likely both). No one is born with a guarantee regarding health or safety. But isn’t one of government’s primary jobs to enhance one’s chances in this regard? Our government has failed miserably in this endeavor!


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