Americans Die Younger — Spend the Most on Health Care

❝ Typically, the more a developed country spends on health care, the longer its people live. The U.S., which spends the most on health care, bucks that trend. Compared to the 35 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which promotes policies to improve social and economic well-being, the U.S. life expectancy of 78.8 years ranks 27th. It has the fourth highest infant mortality rate in the OECD, the sixth highest maternal mortality rate and the ninth highest likelihood of dying at a younger age from a host of ailments, including cardiovascular disease and cancer.

❝ The U.S. is the most obese country in the OECD, leads in drug-related deaths and ranks 33rd in prevalence of diabetes. Yet 88 percent of Americans say they are in good or very good health, according to OECD statistics. Only 35 percent of Japanese, who have the highest life expectancy in the OECD, regard themselves as healthy or very healthy.

❝ Unlike other countries in the OECD, the U.S. mostly relies on voluntary health insurance to fund health-care costs. Public health insurance, such as Medicare and Medicaid, accounts for 27 percent of coverage. By contrast, the 10 countries with the highest life expectancy depend on voluntary insurance for an average of less than 6 percent of their costs, and government spending for nearly half.

❝ One big reason U.S. health care costs are so high: pharmaceutical spending. The U.S. spends more per capita on prescription medicines and over-the-counter products than any other country in the OECD.

RTFA for beaucoup stats, details. I would add emphasis on the insurance profiteers who rip off Americans without the slightest peep from either Establishment party. Our governments manages SSA, Medicare and Medicaid with admin costs <3%. Corporate-run insurance says they need 14-24% to do the same job.

Donald Trump’s early-onset dementia inspires memes, e.g., #localmilkpeople

❝ Of all the strange things in a very unusual conversation between Donald Trump and Malcolm Turnbull, the internet has crowned just one to be the day’s meme-in-chief.

A newly published transcript of the phone call between the US president and the Australian prime minister shows the pair discussing a deal made under the Obama administration to resettle to the US more than 1,000 refugees currently held in Australia’s offshore detention centres.

It’s a deal that Trump is not happy with and he made it clear during what was an awkward and combative phone conversation back in January. Trump said the refugees – who are mostly from Iran, Sudan, Afghanistan and Pakistan – would go on to be the next Boston bombers, which Turnbull pointed out was unlikely since the Boston bombers came from Russia. No matter, Trump was still very displeased.

❝ “I hate taking these people. I guarantee you they are bad. That is why they are in prison right now. They are not going to be wonderful people who go on to work for the local milk people.”

Lots more examples in this GUARDIAN article.