U.S.– the best health care in the world!

Kidding!!  I wish.  It’s time for health care policy in my public policy class.  That said, back when I was young and naive and first teaching public policy in the early 2000’s at Texas Tech, most of my students were convinced that America has the best health care in the world.  I sure don’t run into that argument anymore.  Also, when I was young and naive I would throw up charts showing America’s poor relative life expectancy to emphasize that, maybe, our health care is not so great.  Life expectancy is related to the quality of health care, but also, of course, many other individual, social, and cultural factors.

Of course, I long since learned that mortality amenable to health care is a way better measure as it is deaths that could have been avoided by proper health care treatment, but that happened anyway.   So, here’s the chart from this year’s lecture courtesy of the good folks at the Commonwealth Fund who are full of awesome health care charts:

And, just in case that’s not clear to you, way more people die in the U.S than need to than in any of the comparable group of nations.  Yeah, if you need bleeding edge health care technology (which, of course, most of us don’t) the U.S. is the place to be, but otherwise we are needlessly dying at notably higher rates because our health care system needs to do better.

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