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Live Long And Prosper…

A few days ago,  Republicans in the House voted to kill Obamacare by taking its money away. If you think this is stale news, you’re right. And also wrong. Stale and not stale, because although House Republicans voted to get rid of Obamacare just this month, this most recent vote was the 37th time they’ve tried.

The United States — the greatest free-enterprise country on the planet — has tried to get along on private health insurance plans for half a century after national plans became common in Canada and the nations of Western Europe. The results haven’t been so good. In fact, the US spends more on health per person than most industrially advanced nations, and generally gets poorer results. Here below is a table by the World Health Organization.  It lists nations according to the life expectancy of their citizens. Longest life expectancy at the top of the list, a shorter life as you go down the list. See if you can find the United States.

Rank Country Overall life expectancy at birth Male life expectancy at birth Female life expectancy at birth
1  Japan 82.70 79.45 85.82
2  Switzerland 82.59 80.30 84.69
3  San Marino 82.56 81.98 83.28
4  Italy 82.38 79.83 84.74
5  Singapore 82.35 80.12 84.58
6  Iceland 82.30 80.30 84.00
7  Andorra 82.22 79.03 85.36
8  Australia 82.16 79.99 84.33
9  Spain 82.10 79.00 85.15
10  Qatar 82.08 81.31 83.27
11  Israel 82.05 80.19 83.76
12  Monaco 81.89 78.57 85.09
13  France 81.77 78.46 84.95
14  Sweden 81.74 79.79 83.62
15  Canada 81.54 79.50 83.50
16  Luxembourg 81.52 79.06 83.77
17  Cyprus 81.48 79.39 83.68
18  Norway 81.40 79.27 83.45
19  New Zealand 81.30 79.42 83.09
20 Netherlands 81.20 79.18 83.06
21  Austria 81.10 78.39 83.65
22  Greece 80.94 78.27 83.64
23  Ireland 80.73 78.64 82.78
24  South Korea 80.72 77.35 83.86
25  Finland 80.71 77.59 83.78
26  Germany 80.66 78.29 82.99
27  United Kingdom 80.49 78.50 82.40
28  Belgium 80.40 77.79 82.92
29  Malta 80.38 78.78 81.98
30  Slovenia 80.12 76.60 83.42
31  Portugal 80.08 76.96 83.10
32  Kuwait 79.86 79.54 80.37
33  Denmark 79.46 77.38 81.50
34  Chile 79.28 76.17 82.34
35  Costa Rica 79.14 77.02 81.34
36  Bahrain 78.72 77.67 80.09
37  United States 78.57 76.12 80.93
38  China 75.56 74.05 77.17
39  Brazil 74.33 70.97 77.75
40  Russia 68.85 62.97 74.82
41  India 65.46 63.81 67.30

Yes, the United States is 37th in life expectancy among the nations of the world. The CIA ranks us 33rd in its list based on UN member states.

Another way of looking at the health of a country is to look at its infant mortality rate. The infant mortality rate is calculated simply by figuring the average number of infant deaths in every one thousand live births. The United Nations Population Division lists the United States as 34th.

More Notes


Tim Carmody, in his excellent piece, "How Haiti Became Poor", notes that President Trump's racist policies and vulgar language have sullied the word "shithole" which used to be one of the all-time great swear words. He's right. It's another terrible power this careless President wields.