We’re number one … in preventable deaths!

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.


  1. pHred says

    While I have suffered nothing nearly as traumatic as you have, I am also feeling pretty snarky about this issue as well. A little over a week ago a construction truck rear-ended me as I sat stopped in traffic. It could have been much worse, but as it is, I have whiplash and my hands have been damaged. I have insurance, and am supposed to be covered by “no-fault,” but I can’t even get the wrist splints that I need to help me heal. We have gone to several places, but no dice – these people are generally very rude to boot.

    And I am here at work because there is no one to cover for me, so while technically my doctor has written a script for me to be off work for a couple of weeks, I don’t dare take the time off.

  2. unbound says

    Hey, this is an example of corporate America becoming #1. A decade ago we were #3, but after hard work by major corporations (most notably the insurance companies), they have successfully gained us the coveted #1 spot.

    At least that is how I could see the Faux News spin on this if they actually even mentioned something like this. Of course, they know their watchers would bother to check the actual data, so they would be safe in this approach.

    I’ve actually been stating for over a decade that we are working our way to becoming the next Mexico. I was fascinated to find out that Mexico was actually #4 for countries with the most millionaires (probably been about 8 years since I found that stat), but you certainly wouldn’t know that from the state of the country overall. But when you are at the top, does it really matter if the masses below you live only a little better than animals?

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