This week, the ostensibly nonpartisan researchers at the Institute of Medicine released their latest paper on life expectancy in the United States. They found that the U.S. ranked seventeenth in the world as far as life expectancy was concerned. They concluded that America's health care system was fragmented and lacked sufficient primary-care doctors and posed financial barriers to millions of citizens who lacked insurance or were unable to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses.
The researchers were also honest in writing that the U.S. has a much higher rate of traumatic deaths related to gun violence, auto accidents and drug related overdoses compared with other countries. These traumatic deaths actually account for much of the difference in life expectancy between the U.S. and other developed countries.
These issues reflect on our country's social aspects, but really have nothing to do with our health care delivery system. These traumatic deaths have nothing to do with the number of primary care doctors or the number of uninsured in this country. They have to do with social issues related to poverty, gang violence and our failing educational system.
The most interesting finding was that once a person reached age 75, the U.S. had a higher survival rate than other countries. Since this age group is not subject to violence or drugs, these statistics would clearly confirm that the U.S. has a terrific health care system.
"Reforming" our health care system through the expansion of the bankrupt Medicaid program and the further implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or as the President now calls it, ObamaCare, will limit access to quality health care and will jeopardize life expectancy and health outcomes for everyone.