Compared to Other Countries, America Already Has Horrible Health—Here’s How Trump Will Make It Worse
Turning a nation with plenty of hardship into an even harsher place.
Alternet, June 30, 2017
When it comes to the nation’s overall health and our insurance-based system’s ability to address those needs, Americans should remember that the U.S. now lags far behind most wealthy nations.
Should the Trump-supported bill become law, it will only make a bad health care status quo much worse. It will turn a nation with plenty of hardship into an even harsher place, as the ill effects of poverty become more visible as access to preventative and ongoing care will be reduced for tens of millions.
“There is no shortage of evidence showing that the Trumpcare bill is toxic and harmful,” wrote Stephanie Connolly, research director for Social Security Works. “It would cause 22 million Americans to lose their health care over the next decade. Medicaid protections for seniors and people with disabilities, including long-term care, would be threatened. Affordable coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions—including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and even pregnancy—would no longer be guaranteed. Health care plans would no longer be required to cover essential services that can keep preventable conditions from becoming deadlier and costlier. And insurance premiums for low- and middle-income seniors just under the Medicare eligibility age would rise dramatically.”
The downward spiral doesn’t stop there. The lack of access to care “would cause tens of thousands of unnecessary and preventable deaths each year,” she said.
Anyone paying medical bills knows the system favors those who can afford premiums, co-pays and deductibles. Compared to other wealthy countries, the health of Americans is terrible, and our system is a bureaucratic mess and a money pit.
“Senators, the United States is a sick country,” writes Eduardo Porter for the New York Times’ Business Day. Compared to 16 other rich nations, we have “the second highest mortality from non-communicable conditions—like diabetes, heart disease or violence—and the fourth highest from infectious disease. In terms of infant and maternal mortality, Americans are the worst off… And early death is hardly surprising, since Americans lead a pretty sickly life. Teenagers and young adults report higher rates of obesity, chronic illness, sexually transmitted infections, mental illness and injuries than peer countries.”
Porter nails it when he states, “the United States’ higher tolerance of poverty undoubtedly contributes to higher rates of sickness and death.” Americans are paying a steep societal price for their lousy personal health and expensive healthcare system.
As Nicholas Kristof writes on the Times’ editorial page, Americans spend an average of $10,000 a year for health care, compared to $1,680 per person in Poland. He cites the CIA’s World Factbook to note the U.S. is 42nd in longevity and “we’ve had a smaller increase in life expectancy over 25 years than other industrialized countries have.”
Like Porter, he recites statistics about the dismal American status quo, to say nothing of the downward spiral where Trump wants to take the country.
“Today American babies are one-third more likely to die in their first year of life than Polish children are (and twice as likely as Italian, Portuguese and Czech babies!),” Kristof writes. “Meanwhile, American women are four times as likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth as Polish women… If we had Italy’s child mortality rate, we would save 12,000 American babies’ lives each year—that’s 33 children’s lives saved every day.”
Kristof concludes by saying the only sane solution is for the U.S. to join the rest of the industrialized world and provide health coverage for all—“or else we ration care and people die.”
If Trump gets his way, an already unhealthy country is going to become sicker, and an already costly system is going to become more expensive. And everything that is currently wrong with our system and making it harder for Americans to lead healthier lives will only get worse.
Здешние политиканы, «эксперты», подконтрольные ЦРУ СМ»И» нахваливают псевдодемократическую, якобы процветающую Америку.
Те, кто любит «наших американских (государственных) партнеров», «забывают» о грязных, злых уродах США. О таких, как коварный и крайне опасный мошенник, расист, лжец, неофашист и убийца Дональд Трамп. И о таких, как порочный Конгресс, кровавые милитаристы США, нацистские ФБР — ЦРУ, лживые американские СМ”И”…
Арнольд Локшин, политэмигрант из США