U.S. citizens suffer from poorer health than nearly all other industrialized countries, according to the first comprehensive government analysis on the subject, released Wednesday. Of 17 high-income countries looked at by a committee of experts sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, the United States is at or near the bottom in at least nine indicators. These include infant mortality, heart and lung disease, sexually transmitted infections, and adolescent pregnancies, as well as more systemic issues such as injuries, homicides, and rates of disability.
Together, such issues place U.S. males at the very bottom of the list, among those countries, for life expectancy; on average, a U.S. male can be expected to live almost four fewer years than those in the top-ranked country, Switzerland. U.S. females fare little better, ranked 16th out of the 17 high-income countries under review.
If you’re uninsured and on the brink of death, that’s apparently a laughing matter to some audience members at last night’s tea party Republican presidential debate.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul, a doctor, was asked a hypothetical question by CNN host Wolf Blitzer about how society should respond if a healthy 30-year-old man who decided against buying health insurance suddenly goes into a coma and requires intensive care for six months. Paul–a fierce limited-government advocate– said it shouldn’t be the government’s responsibility. “That’s what freedom is all about, taking your own risks,” Paul said and was drowned out by audience applause as he added, “this whole idea that you have to prepare to take care of everybody …”
“Are you saying that society should just let him die?” Blitzer pressed Paul. And that’s when the audience got involved.
Several loud cheers of “yeah!” followed by laughter could be heard in the Expo Hall at the Florida State Fairgrounds in response to Blitzer’s question. You can watch the exchange below via CNN–the clip begins at the 23:30 mark:(more…)