Maybe It’s Because Health-Care is an Industry?

While Republicans concern themselves with John McCain’s hurt feelings (oooh, baby wanna a ba-ba?), the rest of us can breathe a sigh of relief that the election is finally drawing near and we’ll soon get to give vent to our fears and (ever-dwindling) hopes in the booth. In case you need any more evidence that we need a workable health-care system overhaul, look no more. The US infant mortality rate is the highest in the industrial world, despite our spending more than twice what other countries do on on health care. We have the 29th lowest infant mortality rate in the world. That’s scandalous. Especially considering that we were the 12th lowest in 1960, a huge drop.

In 2006, 6.71 infants died in the United States for every 1,000 live births, a rate little different from the 6.89 rate reported in 2000 or the 6.86 rate of 2005. Twenty-two countries had infant mortality rates in 2004 below 5.0 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, with many Scandinavian and East Asian countries posting rates below 3.5.”

Why can’t we catch up with Singapore on this crucial measure of societal health? They went straight to the top here, and we need to find out they did it. (While we’re there, perhaps we could get some tips on our math scores.) We can’t fix our economic health without working on our actual health. I’m sure there will be naysayers who want to blame obesity and drug use and, those ever popular scapegoats, moms for the problem, but facts are facts. We spend more than anyone and each year more than 28,000 babies die before they’re one. Our health-care system does not work.

Some economists argue that the disappointing infant mortality figure is one of many health indicators demonstrating that the health care system in the United States, despite its enormous cost, is failing.”

We’ve seen all the debates you’re going to see this season (thank God!) and it’s time to use our ballot power for the greater good. Let’s not forget the voiceless and the lost when we do.

One Comment

  1. Adam Searing

    October 16, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    This is just the magic of the health care market – sometimes there are winners and sometimes there are losers. It’s too bad the losers here are infants, but we can’t all be winners. Now let’s get back to privatizing Social Security.