22 April 2008

Janus nation

More evidence that there really are "two Americas":

What the new analysis reveals is the reality of two Americas, one on par with most of Europe and parts of Asia, and another no different than a third world nation. For example, previous research has shown that the U.S. state of Georgia has a life expectancy and infant mortality rate similar to the impoverished Eastern European nation of Georgia. In Harlem, African American men are less likely to reach the age of 65 than men in Bangladesh, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

But we're still number 1, right?

The U.S. life expectancy already is nothing to brag about. The United States is the wealthiest country on earth, yet the life expectancy of its people is only about 78 years, which places us 41st on the 2008 CIA World Factbook list, behind Bosnia but still edging out Albania.

The United States might still be the destination for complicated surgery and cutting-edge procedures, but for the most part it fails its poorest citizens, with about 36 million of them (12 percent of the population, according to the CIA World Factbook) living below the poverty line. As a result, the U.S. healthcare system ranks 37th on a list of 191 systems compiled by the World Health Organization.

I guess we're only number 1 in terms of things that "really matter" (like military spending, weapons production and export, and the erosion of human rights).


BadTux said...

I saw this in my paper this morning, but wasn't sure how to write it up for my blog. I'll be doing some cut and paste here (credited to you of course)...

- Badtux the Healthcare Penguin

Karlo said...

Cut and paste to your hearts content! (: