Thursday, July 17, 2008

Falling Behind Even Faster

Remember back in the '90s when the the GOP thought it was so grand that they had defeated the Clinton health care plan? Since that time there have been study after study panning the state of health care in the US. We continue to fall behind country after country as the GOP and even some Dems in Congress keep kowtowing to their special interest buddies in industry in turn for campaign funds and special favors. In every one of these studies it shouts at the fact that we, in the U.S., spend more money than other developed countries for health care and we get the least. Everybody in Congress has a good health care plan(paid for by us taxpayers), they're doing just fine while millions of us pay out the nose for just marginal healthcare insurance and millions more of us have no coverage at all.

The GOP and the other fat cats keep telling us we have a free market system but if that was the case shouldn't we buyers be getting more for our money and not less? Well we aren't, and we are falling further and further behind. Now we're #42!

The United States of America is becoming less united by the day. A 30-year gap now exists in the average life expectancy between Mississippi, in the Deep South, and Connecticut, in prosperous New England. Huge disparities have also opened up in income, health and education depending on where people live in the US, according to a report published yesterday.

The American Human Development Index has applied to the US an aid agency approach to measuring well-being – more familiar to observers of the Third World – with shocking results. The US finds itself ranked 42nd in global life expectancy and 34th in survival of infants to age. Suicide and murder are among the top 15 causes of death and although the US is home to just 5 per cent of the global population it accounts for 24 per cent of the world's prisoners.

Despite an almost cult-like devotion to the belief that unfettered free enterprise is the best way to lift Americans out of poverty, the report points to a rigged system that does little to lessen inequalities.

"The report shows that although America is one of the richest nations in the world, it is woefully behind when it comes to providing opportunity and choices to all Americans to build a better life," the authors said.

Some of its more shocking findings reveal that, in parts of Texas, the percentage of adults who pass through high school has not improved since the 1970s.

crossposted at Fallenmonk