Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Not exactly news . . .

The Commonwealth Fund has done the latest in its series of surveys of 11 countries (western Europe, Canada and the U.S.) and, well, you already know:

  • Adults in the U.S. are more likely than those in the 10 other countries to go without needed health care because of costs. One-third (33%) of U.S. adults went without recommended care, did not see a doctor when sick, or failed to fill a prescription because of costs. This percentage is down from the 2013 survey (37%). [But it's about to go back up!] As few as 7 percent of respondents in the U.K. and Germany and 8 percent in the Netherlands and Sweden experienced these affordability problems.
  • U.S. adults were also the most likely to report material hardship. Fifteen percent said they worried about having enough money for nutritious food and 16 percent struggled to afford their rent or mortgage.
  • Half of U.S. adults struggled to get health care on the weekends and evenings without going to an emergency department. Between 40 percent and 64 percent of adults in the other countries reported the same. The Netherlands had the lowest rate on this measure, 25 percent.
  • Adults in the U.S. (19%) and France (24%) were the most likely to say that their medical records or test results had not been available at the time of an appointment or that duplicate tests had been ordered in the past two years. These problems were reported less commonly in the other countries.
  • Fourteen percent of chronically ill U.S. adults said they did not get the support they needed from health care providers to manage their conditions. This was twice the rate in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Switzerland.
So the Republicans take over and vow to make all this worse -- much, much worse. My question is simple: what is the constituency for this? Why do we so passionately want to hurt ourselves?

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