A recent study published in JAMA showed the life expectancy of Americans has declined significantly over the last three years — a drop driven by higher death rates among all racial and ethnic groups. Americans in the prime of their lives are dying sooner. The death rates increased from 2010 to 2017 for all causes among people aged 25 to 64. Although suicides, drug overdoses, and alcoholism were the main causes, other medical conditions, including heart disease, strokes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also contributed, the authors reported.
As per the lead author “The whole country is at a health disadvantage compared to other wealthy nations,” Dr. Steven Woolf of Virginia Commonwealth University, said. “We are losing people in the most productive period of their lives. Children are losing their parents. Employers have a sicker workforce.”
We are not surprised. The CDC Health Report for 2017 showed us that deterioration in all but one category (Age 65 and older-heart illness), over the last 20 years: ALL the degrees of disease suffered by the American people and the risk factors that cause them have increased, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia. In addition, sixty-six percent of our population (66%- up from 15% in 1960) is over-weight. We have the heaviest population of over-weights of any nation in the entire world. Over the last several years we have suffered increases in obesity in every age category 2-5 and 6-11 and 12-19 and now almost forty percent (40%) of all Americans over the age of 20 are obese.
This has got to stop. This weight problem contributes dramatically to our incidence of diabetes and chronic illness, the treatment of which now consumes 90% of the total National Health Care Gross Domestic Product (NHC-GDP). The NHC-GDP is eighteen percent (18% or $3.65 Trillion Dollars) of our total national GDP. The CBO predicts that the NHC-GDP will increase at an average annual rate of 5.5% in the coming decade.
In an April 2019 Associated Press Reported the Democrats enjoyed a strong edge with the voters on health care, with over 40% trusting them compared with 23% trusting Republicans. Our guess is these are the same suburban voters responsible for putting the Democrats back in the majority in the House of Representatives in 2018. None of the Democratic candidates have plans that address the fact that Americans are suffering shorter lives, a sicker workforce and we are at a health disadvantage compared to other countries with which we compete. The political party that successfully addresses these problems will win the hearts, minds and the votes of the American electorate in the next election. Medicare Advantage for All effectively addresses these problems but simply extending the old traditional Medicare plan 4 all does not!
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