We keep hearing how broken our health care delivery system is in the US, and how we need reform to make us healthy once again — as well as to protect us from Tonsil Vultures and Foot Rustlers. How badly is that system and how unhealthy are Americans? According to the CDC, we keep extending our life expectancy to all-time highs and keep reducing disease in the US:
U.S. life expectancy reached nearly 78 years (77.9), and the age-adjusted death rate dropped to 760.3 deaths per 100,000 population, both records, according to the latest mortality statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. …
The 2007 increase in life expectancy – up from 77.7 in 2006 — represents a continuation of a trend. Over a decade, life expectancy has increased 1.4 years from 76.5 years in 1997 to 77.9 in 2007.
Surely this is some kind of fluke, right? After all, with all of those Tonsil Vultures and Foot Rustlers stealing body parts for fun and profit, how could our lives get extended and more healthy? The CDC data shows it’s no fluke:
— Record high life expectancy was recorded for both males and females (75.3 years and 80.4 years, respectively). While the gap between male and female life expectancy has narrowed since the peak gap of 7.8 years in 1979, the 5.1 year difference in 2007 is the same as in 2006.
— For the first time, life expectancy for black males reached 70 years.
— The U.S. mortality rate fell for the eighth straight year to an all-time low of 760.3 deaths per 100,000 population in 2007 — 2.1 percent lower than the 2006 rate of 776.5. The 2007 mortality rate is half of what it was 60 years ago (1532 per 100,000 in 1947.) …
— Between 2006 and 2007, mortality rates declined significantly for eight of the 15 leading causes of death. Declines were observed for influenza and pneumonia (8.4 percent), homicide (6.5 percent), accidents (5 percent), heart disease (4.7 percent), stroke (4.6 percent), diabetes (3.9 percent), hypertension (2.7 percent), and cancer (1.8 percent).
Diabetes? Isn’t that the disease highlighted by Obama in his Foot Rustlers argument, saying that we hadn’t done enough to treat and prevent diabetes? Looks like the American health-care system has actually made good progress on a wide range of diseases, including diabetes. We can also include HIV/AIDS on that list; mortality rates dropped 10%, the biggest decline since the CDC began tracking the disease.
When people tell us that the health-care system in this country is broken, they’re either ignorant or lying. Every year we increase life expectancy, every year we decrease mortality rates, and every year we improve our record on a wide range of diseases. I’d rather stick with that system than go with the same people who bring us the Indian Health Service and who think that the Post Office makes a great example of government-run programs.