According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the U.S. life expectancy has risen to an all-time high, standing at slightly better than 78 years.
Seems like pretty irrefutable proof that our nation’s health care system isn’t broken after all, right?
Maybe, or maybe not.
According to the CIA’s World Factbook, the U.S. life expectancy, while at an all-time high, still puts our nation at fiftieth in the world when it comes to life expectancy. What’s more, the United States lags behind nations such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Jordan, and Bermuda, not to mention nations with “socialized” health care like Canada (life expectancy of 81.23 years), France (80.98 years), Australia (81.63 years), and Switzerland (80.85 years).
It’s clear while the U.S. life expectancy may be at an all-time high, we still have a long way to go before we catch up with many of our fellow industrialized nations, and a look at infant mortality rates bears out that fact. The infant mortality rate in the United States is 6.26 deaths per 1,000 live births, a number that seems to be pretty darn good, until compared with nations like Singapore (2.31 deaths per 1,000 live births), Bermuda (2.46 deaths per 1,000 live births), and even France (3.33 deaths per 1,000 live births) and Switzerland
(4.18 deaths per 1,000 live births) with their “socialized” health care systems.
While opponents of health care reform might want folks to believe everything’s just hunky-dory with the our nation’s health care system as it exists now, facts just don’t bear out that assertion. Our nation lags behind many others in life expectancy and infant mortality rates, so clearly we’ve got some work to do to improve our health care system.