Las Vegas Sun

October 1, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

We need a better health care system

John Boehner has said that the United States has the best health care system in the world. Odd, the annual survey conducted by the international Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ranks the U.S. 26th out of 34 of the wealthiest countries regarding health care.

Average OECD life expectancy is 80 years; it’s 78.7 years in the U.S. The infant mortality rate in the U.S. is 6.1 per 1,000 live births. OECD’s average rate is 4 per 1,000 live births.

The U.S. is by far the fattest country, with an obesity rate of 36.5 percent.

The U.S. spends more than any other country for health care at $8,508 per person; Norway is second at $5,669 per person. As a country, we spend 17.7 percent of our gross domestic product on health care; second place is the Netherlands at 11.9 percent. The U.S. spends more on prescription drugs, $985 a year per person, compared with Canada at $701 and Switzerland at $531 per year per person.

However, the U.S. has just 2.5 doctors per 1,000 people, compared with Greece at 6.1 and Russia at 5 per 1,000 people.

Boehner’s statement was absurd. The problem in the U.S. is that a large portion of the population is uninsured and the profit margins of the health care insurance and drug companies are enormous.

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