"There's a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth".
As the media hoopla about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), continues to rage along the political divide, it is interesting to note that few, if any, of the discussions are focusing on the state of health in America. Those on the one side argue that the insurance system doesn’t need changing; those on the other, think it doesn’t go nearly far enough.
The focus seems to be more on the inadequacy of the ACA’s federal Web site rather than the issue that the ACA seeks to correct. “America has the best healthcare system in the world,” is the oft-proclaimed mantra of those in favor of the status quo. Many—even those without access to the system—often repeat the phrase without any evidence that this is actually the case. What seems to be missing from the discussion, however, is the state of health in America, and whether affordable or not, a revamped insurance system would do anything to correct the numerous health issues the nation faces.
While it’s true that we have impressive diagnostic machinery, gleaming hospitals (at least in major Metropolitan areas), and a well-trained medical community, we are less healthy now than we were decades ago. Trust for America’s Health (a nonprofit organization that compiles and presents information on health in America), in an April 2013 report, states:
For too long, the country has focused on treating people after they become sick instead of preventing diseases before they occur. Tens of millions of Americans are currently suffering from preventable diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. And, today’s children are in danger of becoming the first generation in American history to live shorter, less healthy lives than their parents.
CIA’s World Fact Book, lists the United States at 51 in life expectancy. Compare this to number 3,Japan, at 84.46, or even the United Kingdom with a fairly diverse population, number 30, at 80.26.
So why are we so far down on the health ladder? We will explore the topic of health in future postings, and we invite your comments and experiences.
Do you have a comment on the state of health in America? Or an experience with health and the healthcare system that you'd like to share.
Let's hear from you. Send us a quick e-mail and let's hear what's on your mind.
Or click on this link to see our submission guidelines if you want to send us an article.