Health & Environment

The Real Public Health Crisis

In January 2020 – pre-COVID – the Commonwealth Fund published a sobering report on the state of U.S. healthcare, comparing the U.S. to other high-income countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The report shared a number of depressing findings. First, despite the U.S. spending twice as much on healthcare (as a share of the economy) as comparable wealthy nations, Americans have the lowest life expectancy and highest suicide rates. Nor is America’s poor bang for its healthcare buck anything sudden or new — a 30-year-old study that compared the U.S. to 15 OECD nations reached the same conclusions.

The Commonwealth Fund report also drew attention to the fact that, among peer nations, the U.S. has the highest chronic disease burden, the highest number of hospitalizations from “preventable causes” and the highest rate of “avoidable deaths.” Read more…

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