Why is there so much fail in the United States?

A column at CNN by an IU Medicine professor named Aaron Carroll is entitled America flunks its health exam, and highlights a whole lot of fail in the health of the American public.

It’s a good thing that we Americans don’t spend a whole lot of time paying attention to the rest of the world, let alone traveling to their countries, otherwise we’d start having questions that couldn’t be answered by a bunch of hand waving about how we just can’t afford good things or how your average person is an irresponsible (or worse, immoral!) brute, who should be blamed for his condition.

Anyway, per Prof. Carroll:

Compared to peer countries, we’re the worst when it comes to still births, infant mortality and low birth weight (even adjusting for different metrics).

Our little kids (5 and under) die more often than 16 peer countries. In this category our rates of neglect and abuse are the worst.

Our growing children are the fattest and most likely to get pregnant and STDs. (Our adolescent pregnancy rate is 3.5x the average).

Our males 15 – 19 are more likely to die, especially from gun violence and, from 20-24, our males are 7 times more likely to die of violence.

It seems that other societies are doing better by their people than we are. At some point, if we are not, it’s not because we can’t but because we’d prefer not to. We’d rather hold on to our cherished ideologies and notions of life-as-morality-play instead of pragmatically looking at what’s working in other countries and what’s not working in our own.


  1. Joe says

    When you regard yourself as the best country in the world, why would you need to look at facts that might prove otherwise? Ignorance is bliss.

  2. Manfred James says

    Those who have the money have great health care, and those who control the media have money. So we hear about people from other countries who come to America for their proceedures. Then they go back home, satisfied. Meanwhile, those of us who are forced to depend on employment for health care are screwed. And I’m guessing that even after full implementation of Obamacare, we’ll still be screwed. Insurance companies and Big Pharma will still get theirs, no matter who has to pay.

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