Life Expectancy and Universal Healthcare

Life expectancy in the United States is not the highest in the world, and many people who want universal healthcare would have you believe that it’s because of our healthcare system.  The truth is that life expectancy is influenced by many things that don’t have anything to do with healthcare.  A person’s lifestyle, diet and environment have a major impact on how long a person lives, and the number 5 cause of all deaths is accidents.  The number 1 cause of all deaths in the United States is Heart Disease linked to obesity.  Cancer, stroke and respiratory diseases round out the top 5 and all of them are caused by things other than the healthcare system.

 There is an major obesity problem going on in the United States today and it leads to the number one cause of all deaths; heart disease.  Our lifestyle here is one of over consumption and lack of exercise and it is taking it’s toll on our lifespan as a nation.  Some people may argue that what we eat is killing us, and there is an argument to be made with this; but the real reason is that we eat too much.  The average person needs about an hour of exercise a day, but the average person doesn’t even get 15 minutes of real exercise a day.  Our healthcare system can’t make a person thinner or decide what they eat for them, only the person can.

 Eating too much is what causes obesity, but what we eat also has an impact on how long we live.  Asian countries like Japan have a slightly longer lifespan because their main diet consists of fish and rice, rather than red meat and potatoes like us.  Seafood diets are far easier on the body than what we eat, so is what almost every other developed country eats.  Our environment also plays a part in our lifespan, like air pollution and smoking; but none of these things are determined by our healthcare system.  In most other industrialized countries, the government has a hand in what people can eat and how they live; but here we don’t allow the government to tell us what we can do.

 The other piece of the lifespan puzzle is the economic part of the society that we live in.  Many people have thought that socializing a government would eliminate poverty and everyone would live in equality, but the ultimate result is that the standard of living goes down for everyone.  In this country people with the lowest incomes have the shortest lifespan; and the same is true everywhere else.  The difference here is that even at the poverty level people can afford to over eat all the bad food they want, but they can’t afford to go to the doctor regularly.  This is the only part of life expectancy that is impacted by our healthcare system; but to get everyone covered, everyone has to give up their freedom of choice.

 There are many different arguments for free market and universal healthcare, but they all boil down to one point.  Universal healthcare covers everyone, but the government has complete control over what your health choices are.  Free market healthcare allows you to make all of your own decisions including having healthcare at all or a discount plan like Ameriplanusa, but it’s expensive and not every one can afford it.  Life expectancy is one of the things that advocates for universal healthcare point to as a reason to switch our system, but life expectancy is determined by too many other things to be blamed on our healthcare system.  Our lifestyle may not be the healthiest in the world, but at least the choice to live the way we want is ours.

I have been working with healthcare and Ameriplan health for several years. Most people find these subjects boring, but the U.S. spends $ .10 of every dollar on these 2 things.

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