Wednesday, May 03, 2006

GOP is "The Party of Life" ... Until You Are Born

Most progressives favor some type of universal or single payor or national or ... health care. The GOP is tied to Big Pharma and Big Insurance for certain. Whatever they lack in ideas, the ReThuglicans can divide on a "wedge" issue such as "threats to the family" or "respect for the culture of life" or ...

But even the Brits are doing a better job it seems with their health care than the market based personal responsibility crowd might care to admit. Here's a link to Financial Times where Clive Cookson reports "England beats US in health stakes". A portion of the writing indicates,

Middle-aged English people are “much healthier” than their American counterparts, even though the US spends far more on medical care than the UK, according to a large international study published on Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. ...

As expected, people with higher socio-economic status, as measured by their income and education levels, tended to enjoy better health. But because the national differences were so great, those at the top of the education and income scale in the US suffered diabetes and heart disease at a similar rate to those at the bottom of the scale in England.

The researchers are struggling to explain their findings. Their analysis shows that lifestyle factors – particularly the fact that Americans are more obese and take less exercise – cannot account for the whole discrepancy. though they may provide a partial explanation.

Different health systems may also be part of the story. The researchers note that the US spends $5,274 per head on medical care while the UK spends $2,164, adjusted for purchasing power. But Britain’s National Health Service provides publicly funded medicine for everyone, while Americans under the age of 65 have to rely on private insurance.

I can recall several years ago a little eighth grade kid railing against socialized medicine when it came up in class. She had the talking points down pat. Not a strong student nor well informed yet she had been indoctrinated fully. Church shirts nearly every day. Snarly at times. Often unprepared. Yet she was a full right winger in her politics, with health care being something she liked to use for her ammo. I wonder how she would handle the above?

A "culture of life" would I think value a "healthy" life. Don't get me started on how the GOP treats kids with poor parents/caregivers. Peace ... or War!