Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Less For More, In Health and War!

A recent report notes that, since 2001, the "war on terror" has cost $510 billion. What do we get for that? Hmmm. Increased terrorism and global instability. An unstable civil war in Iraq, creating a breeding ground for even more terrorism. Unprecedented loathing of the United States. North Korea and Iran going nuclear. Osama Bin Ladin still on the loose. A resurgent Taliban and destabilization of both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Could the money have possibly been spent in a worse manner?

But there is predecent! Spending a lot of money for lousy outcomes is also a feature of the U.S. healthcare system. According to data from the OECD, the U.S. spends $4,497 a year on healthcare per capita (in PPP dollars). In contrast, the equivalent among the G-7 countries is $2,524. So, the US achieves superior outcomes for this investment, right? Wrong. Healthy life expectancy is 68.1 years, versus 70.9 years in the G-7. The standardized death rate is 670 per 100,00, as opposed to 582 in the G-7. The infant mortality rate is 6.9 per 1000, and 4.7 in the G-7. The child mortality rate is 7.6 per 1000, and 5.3 in the G-7. The maternal mortality rate is 10.5 per 100,000; it stands at 6.5 in the G-7. So, almost double the expenditure on healthcare for worse outcomes. Oh well, at least it's not "socialized medicine"...


Katerina Marie said...

Sorry... I just have to ask :)

Do you get a lot of hateful comments sometimes and don't post them at all?

Your blog is very informative though... hopefully some people will appreciate that. I will link to your global warming posts when I write mine this weekend.

Morning's Minion said...

Not that many... probably because very few actually read this!