America Is Number 37!

Andrew Sullivan —  Jun 15 2011 @ 12:33pm

Changes in years of life expectancy in US counties, men, 1987-2007_IHME
The great healthcare system that the Republicans see as the lynchpin of our freedom has not exactly been doing a great job. It spends up to 50 percent more per capita than other countries and is now providing healthcare in which, in some regions, life-spans are actually declining. Money quote:

Large swaths of the United States are showing decreasing or stagnating life expectancy even as the nation’s overall longevity trend has continued upwards, according to a county-by-county study of life expectancy over two decades.

In one-quarter of the country, girls born today may live shorter lives than their mothers, and the country as a whole is falling behind other industrialized nations in the march toward longer life, according to the study.

The study itself makes for grim reading, as some regions fall behind the Third World:

Some US counties have a life expectancy today that nations with the best health outcomes had in 1957 …  Five counties in Mississippi have the lowest life expectancies for women, all below 74.5 years, putting them behind nations such as Honduras, El Salvador, and Peru. Four of those counties, along with Humphreys County, MS, have the lowest life expectancies for men, all below 67 years, meaning they are behind Brazil, Latvia, and the Philippines.

Black men are in terrible shape:

Black men and women have lower life expectancies than white men and women in all counties. Life expectancy for black women ranges from 69.6 to 82.6 years, and for black men, from 59.4 to 77.2 years. In both cases, no counties are ahead of the international frontier, and some are more than 50 years behind.

Shouldn't our main issue with healthcare be first: why is the largely private sector doing so terribly? And shouldn't this be a question conservatives should be asking themselves rather than reiterating slogans from the 1980s?