Something else I have been thinking about --- I have heard several politicians in the US claiming that every year, 45,000 people die in the US because they do not have health care. I cannot find a good stat on that but will put it in here if I find it. I don't know if that truly means they died BECAUSE they don't have health care, or if they happened to die AND they don't have health care. I don't know what they died from (car accident, terminal disease, etc) so I don't know how to judge if they died BECAUSE of lack of health care or if that is just a twisted statistic. But what I do know is that a heck of a lot of people die each year who DO have health care. Should we then twist the statistic to say 'Look! Over 2 million people die each year in the US because they HAVE health care'? Seriously, think about it.
The Centers for Disease Control website updated it's death stats on Dec 31, 2009 and you can find it HERE. But here is a quick rundown of some stats they reported:
- Number of deaths: 2,426,264
- Death rate: 810.4 deaths per 100,000 population
- Life expectancy: 77.7years
- Infant Mortality rate: 6.69 deaths per 1,000 live births
- Heart disease: 631,636
- Cancer: 559,888
- Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 137,119
- Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 124,583
- Accidents (unintentional injuries): 121,599
- Diabetes: 72,449
- Alzheimer's disease: 72,432
- Influenza and Pneumonia: 56,326
- Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 45,344
- Septicemia: 34,234
In a quick comparison, Stats Canada lists our deaths at 242,863 for the last fiscal year (July 1 to June 30 2008/09). Keeping in mind that Canada has about 10% of the population of the United States, it puts our death rate at almost an identical % of population (242, 626). Our top killers are heart disease and cancer as well. Shouldn't we have a BETTER death rate if we have socialized medicine? Afterall, all of our citizens can get health care at any time from any place (scratch that, you have to go through the channels, can't just show up at a specialist's office, but I digress)... So the US people that are throwing around this '45,000 people a year die because they do not have life insurance' figure must not really look around at other countries to check out their mortality rates and causes either. THAT is what drives me crazy.
At the end of the day, even Canada's socialized health care system does not improve on the mortality rate. We have 10% of the population, and 10% of their mortality rate. So let's just drop that 45,000 statistic, it does not accomplish ANYTHING. Over 2 million people die each year in the US who DO have health insurance.... so um.... what should be done about THAT statistic?
Eh?! Perhaps that is something Larry King could have asked Bill Maher last week. Maher is the latest person I heard use the 45,000 stat.