Once again the good old USA leads the developed world … in preventable deaths. Those would be deaths where existing drugs and other widely available treatments would have saved lives. The new study by the Common Wealth Fund confirms what other, similar studies have found, the US ranks dead last or near dead last in the developed world in healthcare:
“This study points to substantial opportunity to prevent premature death in the United States. We spend far more than any of the comparison countries—up to twice as much—yet are improving less rapidly,” said Commonwealth Fund Senior Vice President Cathy Schoen. “The good news is we know lower death rates are achievable if we enhance access and ensure high-quality care regardless of where you live. Looking forward, reforms under the Affordable Care Act have the potential to reduce the number of preventable deaths in the U.S. We have the potential to join the leaders among high-income countries.”
Combine this data with our income distribution and the idea of the US as a third-world country isn’t some scary insult, it’s becoming a reality as we watch. I’d insert some snarky observation here, but I’m tired and pressed for time. Between a recent broken back and complications from a collapsed lung, and corporate attendance policies and various ways our jobs in America are explicitly and implicitly threatened on a regular basis, I’m up at 5 AM to get to my office two hours early and work, unpaid, to stay caught up and thus reduce the risk of losing my job and with it my life saving health insurance right in the middle of recovering from a major injury.