Posts Tagged ‘Health Care’

How the U.S. lags peer nations in health care 2

June 11, 2017


I came across a 2015 study by The Commonwealth Fund that shows the Americans spend more on health care, use more medical technology and take more prescription drugs than citizens of most peer nations, but aren’t necessarily more healthy.

We’re not the worst in this respect, but we’re far from the best.

The charts above and below tell the story.   I doubt things have changed much since 2013.


Health care costs and the U.S. middle class

September 2, 2016

Economics professor David Ruccio points out that, since the previous recession, the American middle class has been cutting back on spending—on everything except medical care.

The Affordable Care Act was supposed to not only make medical care more widely available, but to make it affordable.   This hasn’t happened.  I think this is partly due to opposition by Republican governors and congressional representatives, but largely due to flaws in the law itself.

It’s a well-known fact that we Americans pay more for medical care and get less benefit than citizens of any other industrial nation.



How Ebola came to be a global problem

October 9, 2014

Click to enlarge.

My local newspaper, the Democrat and Chronicle, from time to time runs a article on local history.  Some time back the topic was how the Rochester, N.Y., public water system came to be built.

The article said the construction of the water system was controversial, because the affluent section of the Rochester community already had plenty of clean water, and opposed having to pay to provide a public water supply for poor people.

But then it was pointed out to them that infectious diseases that originate from contaminated water did not stay in the slums.  They affected everybody, rich and poor.

I think many of us Americans thought the same way about lack of sanitation, good health care and nutritious food in West Africa.  It was sad, but not our problem.

Well, guess again.  Those conditions are the equivalent of a Petri dish for breeding infectious disease.  And disease, as we’re now learning once again, does not respect national boundaries.


Click to enlarge.

I’ve heard Americans say it is the Africans’ own fault they are so poor, but, as Ian Welsh pointed out on his web log, many of the problems of Africa stems from the 1970s and 1980s when International Monetary Fund and international banks insisted that African governments cut back on education and health care in order to give priority to paying back their debts in full.

Southern Europe is a destination for unauthorized African immigrants, and Spain, Italy and Greece also are cutting back on spending for health care in order to give priority for debt service.

Here in the USA, there are still 40 million people without medical insurance, Welsh pointed out.  How many of them are going to go to a clinic for a diagnosis of an illness whose symptoms are the same as plain ‘flu.

The other day, a friend of mine asked me which I feared most, ISIS or the Ebola plague?  I replied that I’m not afraid of either one of them, but I think that in the long run, the world’s people are at greater risk from mutant killer diseases than they are from international terrorism.   And we’re all in Lifeboat Earth together.


 Why Africa Can’t Handle Ebola: the Destruction of the 3rd World by Ian Welsh.  [subsituted 10/11/14]

American middle class: still treading water

October 8, 2013

Double click to enlarge.

Hat tip to occasional links and commentary.

For the sake of clarity

June 27, 2012

Actually (since I’m an old retired guy) all I want is for all Americans to have the same opportunities I’ve had.

Hat tip to Echidne of the Snakes.