Healthcare Increases Life ExpectancyTo finish my series on healthcare and life expectancy, I wanted to write one more article about heath insurance. First I should start by saying that the United States is among one of the only developed countries without universal healthcare. In this same group of countries, our life expectancy numbers appear low and our growth has been much slower.
People can engage in political battles over "Obamacare," Medicare and Medicaid and I will not pass judgement. I just want to provide some information that might help you to form your opinion. I want to show you on a county by county basis what percentages of Americans lack health insurance. When I say lack health insurance, I will give a real world example. You feel a lump in your arm and are concerned so you go to the doctor. The doctor tells you that she needs to run some blood work and remove a piece of your lump for a biopsy. The blood work will cost $450 and the biopsy $900. You have a car that costs $300 per month and your mortgage costs $1,000. What will you buy this month?
Now, let's take a look at the numbers.
Now my favorite graph of life expectancy by county. Take a good look at this if you haven't already seen it in my last two articles.
Look at these maps on a county by county basis and notice the general trends. Higher rates of health insurance coverage tend to mean longer life expectancy. I feel that it is generally safe to infer that as "Obamacare" takes effect, people currently without insurance will start to live longer.
One more quick thing I want to discuss is the fact that America wastes billions of dollars each year on health related costs, much of this waste is generated because not everyone has access to preventative care. If the health insurance system functions properly, Americans will have access to preventative care and tax money will be saved on costly late in the game procedures that are used to save lives.