In a Bloomberg.com piece titled Americans Gained 73 Days to Live in 2007, facts rather than rhetoric are presented that may inform anyone interested in this subject. Here's the key early paragraph:
Life expectancy in the U.S. rose to a record 77.9 years, from 77.7 in 2006, according to preliminary data released today by the National Center for Health Statistics, a U.S. agency. The gain amounted to 10.4 weeks.
A continuing decline in mortality rates for the top two killers, heart disease and cancer, contributed to the change. So did a 10 percent drop in deaths from the AIDS virus, the steepest decline since 1998.
While the article makes a side comment to better diet, which cannot be spot on given the lack of progress in the obesity and overweight "epidemic", it is fact-based. This beats certain arguments swirling around the healthcare reform debate.
Benefits of this health improvement are spread broadly; for example:
The increase in black men’s life expectancy is “phenomenal,” said Peggye Dilworth-Anderson, professor of health policy and management at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health.
So far, so good. Any change in the system MUST continue the health trends described by the CDC. This will likely NOT occur by insuring more people but spending no more money.
There is no free breakfast. There is no free lunch. There is no free dinner.
We need more doctors, nurses and public health specialists. We do NOT need more insurance claims reviewers.
Bean counters, begone!
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