Recently, it was reported that poor health care is the main cause for a crawling increase in longevity for Americans. Canada and 11 other countries are experiencing a higher increase in survival rate.
A team of researchers from New York’s Columbia University conclused that poor health care is the reason why U.S has a slow rise in longevity. This conclusion was reached after considering factors such as traffic accident, smoking, obesity, and murder rate (U.S murder rate is amidst the highest in the advanced world).
According to co-author Peter Muenning, a health-policy expert, U.S shouldn’t be ranked worse than the countries involved in the study. Fragmented care as well as the expensive health care system was highlighted as the main causes for a feeble enhancement in people’s life expectancy.
The study was reported in the Health Affairs journal. Moreover, it has stirred consideration for both the Republicans and Democrats. They are already suggesting health-care reforms for the coming congressional elections.
The democrats are emphasising on providing cheaper healthcare systems. On the other hand, Republicans are refuting the aspect of cheap healthcare by claiming that it will further bring down healthcare. Their orientation is to provide the world’s best healthcare.
The study involved comparison of the American Health care statistics on mortality and spending to countries like Britain, France, Canada, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden and Australia.
The research identified that health care costs as well as life expectancy had been increasing in all countries from 1975 to 2005. However, the cost of Health Care in America had increased more than longevity, when comparing to other countries.
In the 1950, US ranked 5th by having one of the highest life expectancies at birth for women, yet figures published last month showed that America’s life expectancy for both sexes was ranked at a deplorable 49th.
Some opponents, insurance-oriented health care systems, say that lifestyle is the main cause for this lag behind. However, this seems rather false, as obesity has increased less rapid in American compared to the other countries involved in the study and the volume of smokers as decreased faster.
The mortality rate caused by homicides and traffic accidents have also remained stable, meaning that they are not likely to be responsible for the slow rise in life expectancy.
Health Care spending in America has increased by roughly 100 percent more than the other countries during the period 1970 to 2002. The latest healthcare cost per individual was set at $7,290. This is more than double than the average expenditure on Health care in industrialized countries.
Researchers say that increasing spending on medical care seems to be associated with lower quality of health care.
To assure that the same population was considered in the study, only statistics from white Americans were considered in the research.
The survival increase for non-Hispanic Whites was the lowest for the period 1995 to 2005. However, Japan had e the highest increase in survival for the decade while Italy, Canada and Australia had had a flagrant increase in life expectancy for the latest 45 years.
In the period 1975 to 1985, America was ranked third, behind Australia and Canada, in survival gain. Yet, figures on mortality were comparatively high in America.
According to the research Japanese live 5.7 years more of ‘perfect health’ in comparison to Americans. This means that the American Health Care system definitely needs some reform to push up longevity and life expectancy.
Source: Montreal Gazette