Why Brits are healthier | TheUnion.com

Why Brits are healthier

“Americans less healthy than the English, study says” says a headline in the The Union on May 3. I wonder why “Even experts familiar with the weaknesses in the U.S. health system seemed stunned by the study’s conclusion.”

One need not qualify as an “expert” to have followed the World Health Organization’s ranking of the world’s nations in health care outcomes ” the U.S. is a low 37th recently. This despite the fact that, per person, we far outstrip all others in health expenditures.

But why the English? Horror of horrors, don’t those unfortunates struggle under “socialized medicine?” Unlike the U.S., which treats medical care like a commodity rather than a human right, England (and other industrialized nations) provides universal health care to all its citizens. The government serves as the sole primary insurer rather than a herd of bureaucratic for-profit health insurance companies.

The immense savings in administrative costs coming to England and to other nations having a “single payer” system enable it to distribute a significant part of these savings to genuine preventive health care ” keeping people healthy before they get sick. And if sick, patients are far less likely to hold off seeking needed medical attention promptly out of fear they can’t pay.

Terry Fieldhouse

Nevada City

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