A new study that compared health and healthcare spending among 34 nations has found that despite the fact that the U.S. outspends everyone else, our health is falling behind that of many of our peers. “Compared to other high-income countries, U.S. health outcomes are pretty mediocre,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, who led the study.
What’s very interesting is that despite our life expectancy improving in the last 20 years from 75 to 78 years, on average, the quality of life has gone down. More people suffer from chronic mental illnesses, aches, addiction and debilitating issues and we’re not doing a good job of dealing with those problems. While the study doesn’t say it, it’s very clear to most observers that spending on healthcare in this country needs to be improved. Too much money is wasted and spent on unnecessary tests, malpractice insurance, lawsuits, overpriced drugs and greedy HMOs. The healthcare reform act that President Obama worked on will likely help but as long as the healthcare lobby has the Republican Party in its pocket, things won’t get better fast enough.
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