America’s health care not the best |

America’s health care not the best

Diana Hamilton
South Lake Tahoe

Many of us have heard that America has the best health care in the world. Sadly and embarrassingly, this is not true.

We have great research and spend the most, but this does not translate to beneficial care. The CIA World Fact Book reports that our infant mortality ranks 42nd in the world. The same book states that we are 181 out of 222 countries in life expectancy. We have worse statistics than many third-world countries.

Save the Children reported that newborn mortality, in America, is 2.5 to 3 times higher than in Finland, Iceland, Norway, or Japan. UNICEF ranked the U.S. 20th out of 21 wealthy nations regarding childrens welfare. There’s a minor difference in statistics according to various sources; these are easy to search on the Internet.

We also pay significantly more out of pocket than people in other Western nations and get more confused, error-prone treatment.

Our health system is an expensive mess. As individuals, taking personal responsibility by staying healthy is our best defense against a failed system: make wise food choices and exercise. AARP did a good job of clarifying many myths and misunderstandings regarding the currently debated health plan changes, available online. Do your homework and let your representatives know your ideas about improving the current system.