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Fixin' Healthcare

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Lifestyle Chronicles - Look Homeward Angel

The U.S. spends $5,274 per capita annually on medical care and Britain spends $2,164 per capita annually. Yet, U.S. citizens age 55 to 65 years have higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, lung disease and cancer than the same group in Britain.

Smoking was similar for both countries. Obesity rates were much higher in the U.S. and heavy drinking was more common in Britain.

Wealthier and better-educated people in both countries were much healthier than poorer and less-educated people. Those in the top income and education group in the U.S. had similar rates of diabetes and heart disease as those in the bottom income and education level in Britain.

The May 3rd issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) contained an article reporting this information. The article concluded that health insurance cannot be the central reason for the better health outcomes in Britain because the top socio-economic status tier of the U.S. population have universal access but their health outcomes are often worse than their English counterparts.

Uh-oh!

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