The current battles over American health care system are indicative of a wider philosophical and social divide. What is at stake and what is the desired outcome of each side?

First we must look at the current health care system as it exists in the United States. The World Health Organization ranks the U.S. health system well below most of Europe, Canada and Japan. France and Italy rank at number one and two while the U.S. is at #37. Most of the countries that rank above the U.S. have some form of socialized health care system. Japan,which ranks 10th on the WHO list, is at #1 in life expectancy at 74.5 years, while the U.S. is 24th in life expectancy, again below Europe, Canada and Australia as well. An oft repeated declaration is that the U.S. has the best health care in the World, also that people from all over the World come to the U.S. for health care, such as the King of Jordan who went to Mayo Clinic recently for surgery. This happens, if they can afford to do so. U.S. citizens do the same, Richard DeVos, co-founder of AMWAY and a staunch Republican went to England for a heart transplant and talk show host Charlie Rose went to France for heart surgery. These options of course do not exist for most Americans. The disruptions and shows of righteous indignation" at town hall meetings need a closer look. News reports indicate that those disrupting the town halls of specific Democratic Congress men and women were largely staged by combination’s of HMO employees bussed to the town halls for the purpose of disruption and distortion and "FOX NEWS" zealots who believe capitalism and business interests should come before people’s health. Misinformation and lies about Obama’s health care plans swayed a lot of opinion polls as well as a lack of knowlege about the benefits of Universal health care. The Rights repeatedly comparing Obama’s proposed changes as comparable to Nazism was especially ridiculous. The Nazi comparisons are generally a bad idea for public discourse but there is an area that somewhat fits. During the Nazi era particular businesses were given greater privilege and leeway over the well being of people and their rights, the most well known of these were I.G. Farben and Krupp. It was a clear cut idea and system where profit (and of course power) took precedence over people. Like a boomerang the Nazi comparison idea…well you get the idea.

In a recent interview with Dr James Jackson, a well known Muskegon physician and community activist, Dr Jackson stated that the problem in America’s health care is that "it is based on capitalism, it puts people second and money fist." When asked if HMOs had a legitimate place in American health care he said "absolutely not." About Obama’s health care ideas Dr Jackson said it was not without problems. He said "if it does not include single payer it will continue the same problems that we currently have."

In the ongoing battle for truth, justice and values people should always be valued before and above profits.

Below are charts from the World Health Organization ranking health
care systems and
life expectacies from around the World.

The World Health Organization’s ranking of the world’s health systems
 was last
produced in 2000, and the WHO no longer produces such
 a ranking table, because
of the complexity of the task.


World Health Organization’s (WHO) Ranking of the World’s Health Systems.
1 France 65 Uruguay 129 Peru
2 Italy 66 Hungary 130 Russia
3 San Marino 67 Trinidad and Tobago 131 Honduras
4 Andorra 68 Saint Lucia 132 Burkina Faso
5 Malta 69 Belize 133 Sao Tome and Principe
6 Singapore 70 Turkey 134 Sudan
7 Spain 71 Nicaragua 135 Ghana
8 Oman 72 Belarus 136 Tuvalu
9 Austria 73 Lithuania 137 Ivory Coast
10 Japan 74 Saint Vincent & the Grenadines 138 Haiti
11 Norway 75 Argentina 139 Gabon
12 Portugal 76 Sri Lanka 140 Kenya
13 Monaco 77 Estonia 141 Marshall Islands
14 Greece 78 Guatemala 142 Kiribati
15 Iceland 79 Ukraine 143 Burundi
16 Luxembourg 80 Solomon Islands 144 China
17 Netherlands 81 Algeria 145 Mongolia
18 United Kingdom 82 Palau 146 Gambia
19 Ireland 83 Jordan 147 Maldives
20 Switzerland 84 Mauritius 148 Papua New Guinea
21 Belgium 85 Grenada 149 Uganda
22 Colombia 86 Antigua and Barbuda 150 Nepal
23 Sweden 87 Libya 151 Kyrgystan
24 Cyprus 88 Bangladesh 152 Togo
25 Germany 89 Macedonia 153 Turkmenistan
26 Saudi Arabia 90 Bosnia-Herzegovina 154 Tajikistan
27 United Arab Emirates 91 Lebanon 155 Zimbabwe
28 Israel 92 Indonesia 156 Tanzania
29 Morocco 93 Iran 157 Djibouti
30 Canada 94 Bahamas 158 Eritrea
31 Finland 95 Panama 159 Madagascar
32 Australia 96 Fiji 160 Vietnam
33 Chile 97 Benin 161 Guinea
34 Denmark 98 Nauru 162 Mauritania
35 Dominica 99 Romania 163 Mali
36 Costa Rica 100 Saint Kitts and Nevis 164 Cameroon
37 United States of America 101 Moldova 165 Laos
38 Slovenia 102 Bulgaria 166 Congo
39 Cuba 103 Iraq 167 North Korea
40 Brunei 104 Armenia 168 Namibia
41 New Zealand 105 Latvia 169 Botswana
42 Bahrain 106 Yugoslavia 170 Niger
43 Croatia 107 Cook Islands 171 Equatorial Guinea
44 Qatar 108 Syria 172 Rwanda
45 Kuwait 109 Azerbaijan 173 Afghanistan
46 Barbados 110 Suriname 174 Cambodia
47 Thailand 111 Ecuador 175 South Africa
48 Czech Republic 112 India 176 Guinea-Bissau
49 Malaysia 113 Cape Verde 177 Swaziland
50 Poland 114 Georgia 178 Chad
51 Dominican Republic 115 El Salvador 179 Somalia
52 Tunisia 116 Tonga 180 Ethiopia
53 Jamaica 117 Uzbekistan 181 Angola
54 Venezuela 118 Comoros 182 Zambia
55 Albania 119 Samoa 181 Lesotho
56 Seychelles 120 Yemen 184 Mozambique
57 Paraguay 121 Niue 185 Malawi
58 South Korea 122 Pakistan 186 Liberia
59 Senegal 123 Micronesia 187 Nigeria
60 Philippines 124 Bhutan 188 Democratic Republic of the Congo
61 Mexico 125 Brazil 189 Central African Republic
62 Slovakia 126 Bolivia 190 Myanmar
63 Egypt 127 Vanuatu
64 Kazakhstan 128 Guyana

Healthy life expectancy (HALE) at birth (years)

DEFINITION: Average number of years that a person can expect to live in "full health" by
taking into account years lived in less than full health due to disease and/or injury.

Country
Rank
Member
State
Total Pop.
(Years)
Male Femalee Country
Rank
Member
State
Total Pop
(Years)
Male Female
1 Japan 74.5 71.9 77.2 95 Belize 60.9 58.5 63.3
2 Australia 73.2 70.8 75.5 96 Lebanon 60.6 61.2 60.1
3 France 73.1 69.3 76.9 97 Iran 60.5 61.3 59.8
4 Sweden 73.0 71.2 74.9 98 Samoa 60.5 58.7 62.3
5 Spain 72.8 69.8 75.7 99 Guyana 60.2 57.1 63.3
6 Italy 72.7 70.0 75.4 100 Thailand 60.2 58.4 62.1
7 Greece 72.5 70.5 74.6 101 Uzbekistan 60.2 58.0 62.3
8 Switzerland 72.5 69.5 75.5 102 Jordan 60.0 60.7 59.3
9 Monaco 72.4 68.5 76.3 103 Albania 60.0 56.5 63.4
10 Andorra 72.3 69.3 75.2 104 Indonesia 59.7 58.8 60.6
11 San Marino 72.3 69.5 75.0 105 Micronesia 59.6 58.7 60.6
12 Canada 72.0 70.0 74.0 106 Peru 59.4 58.0 60.8
13 Netherlands 72.0 69.6 74.4 107 Fiji 59.4 57.7 61.1
14 United Kingdom 71.7 69.7 73.7 108 Libya 59.3 59.7 58.9
15 Norway 71.7 68.8 74.6 109 Seychelles 59.3 56.4 62.1
16 Belgium 71.6 68.7 74.6 110 Bahamas 59.1 56.7 61.6
17 Austria 71.6 68.8 74.4 111 Morocco 59.1 58.7 59.4
18 Luxembourg 71.1 68.0 74.2 112 Brazil 59.1 55.2 62.9
19 Iceland 70.8 69.2 72.3 113 Palau 59.0 57.4 60.7
20 Finland 70.5 67.2 73.7 114 Philippines 58.9 57.1 60.7
21 Malta 70.5 68.4 72.5 115 Syria 58.8 58.8 58.9
22 Germany 70.4 67.4 73.5 116 Egypt 58.5 58.6 58.3
23 Israel 70.4 69.2 71.6 117 Viet Nam 58.2 56.7 59.6
24 United States 70.0 67.5 72.6 118 Nicaragua 58.1 56.4 59.9
25 Cyprus 69.8 68.7 70.9 119 Cape Verde 57.6 54.6 60.6
26 Dominica 69.8 67.2 72.3 120 Tuvalu 57.4 57.1 57.6
27 Ireland 69.6 67.5 71.7 121 Tajikistan 57.3 55.1 59.4
28 Denmark 69.4 67.2 71.5 122 Marshall Islands 56.8 56.0 57.6
29 Portugal 69.3 65.9 72.7 123 Kazakhstan 56.4 51.5 61.2
30 Singapore 69.3 67.4 71.2 124 Kyrgyzstan 56.3 53.4 59.1
31 New Zealand 69.2 67.1 71.2 125 Pakistan 55.9 55.0 56.8
32 Chile 68.6 66.0 71.3 126 Kiribati 55.3 53.9 56.6
33 Cuba 68.4 67.4 69.4 127 Iraq 55.3 55.4 55.1
34 Slovenia 68.4 64.9 71.9 128 Solomon Islands 54.9 54.5 55.3
35 Czech Republic 68.0 65.2 70.8 129 Turkmenistan 54.3 51.9 56.7
36 Jamaica 67.3 66.8 67.9 130 Guatemala 54.3 52.1 56.4
37 Uruguay 67.0 64.1 69.9 131 Maldives 53.9 54.4 53.3
38 Croatia 67.0 63.3 70.6 132 Mongolia 53.8 51.3 56.3
39 Argentina 66.7 63.8 69.6 133 Sao Tome Princi 53.5 52.1 54.8
40 Costa Rica 66.7 65.2 68.1 134 Bolivia 53.3 52.5 54.1
41 Armenia 66.7 65.0 68.3 135 India 53.2 52.8 53.5
42 Slovakia 66.6 63.5 69.7 136 Vanuatu 52.8 51.3 54.4
43 Saint Vincent & The Grenadines 66.4 65.0 67.8 137 Nauru 52.5 49.8 55.1
44 Georgia 66.3 63.1 69.4 138 Bhutan 51.8 51.4 52.2
45 Poland 66.2 62.3 70.1 139 Myanmar 51.6 51.4 51.9
46 Yugoslavia 66.1 64.2 68.1 140 Bangladesh 49.9 50.1 49.8
47 Panama 66.0 64.9 67.2 141 Yemen 49.7 49.7 49.7
48 Antigua+Barbuda 65.8 63.4 68.3 142 Nepal 49.5 49.4 49.5
49 Grenada 65.5 62.4 68.5 143 Gambia 48.3 47.2 49.4
50 U.A. Emirates 65.4 65.0 65.8 144 Gabon 47.8 46.6 49.0
51 North Korea 65.1 51.4 53.1 145 Papua New Guinea 47.0 45.5 48.5
52 Venezuela 65.0 62.9 67.1 146 Comoros 46.8 46.1 47.5
53 Barbados 65.0 62.4 67.6 147 Lao 46.1 45.0 47.1
54 Saint Lucia 65.0 62.4 67.6 148 Cambodia 45.7 43.9 47.5
55 Mexico 65.0 62.4 67.6 149 Ghana 45.5 45.0 46.0
56 Bosnia Herzegovina 64.9 63.4 66.4 150 Congo 45.1 44.3 45.9
57 Trinidad+Tobago 64.6 62.8 66.4 151 Senegal 44.6 43.5 45.6
58 Saudi Arabia 64.5 65.1 64.0 152 Equatorial Guinea 44.1 42.8 45.4
59 Brunei 64.4 63.4 65.4 153 Haiti 43.8 42.4 45.2
60 Bulgaria 64.4 61.2 67.7 154 Sudan 43.0 42.6 43.5
61 Bahrain 64.4 63.9 64.9 155 Co˘te d’Ivoire 42.8 42.2 43.3
62 Hungary 64.1 60.4 67.9 156 Cameroon 42.2 41.5 43.0
63 Lithuania 64.1 60.6 67.5 157 Benin 44.2 41.9 42.6
64 FYRO Macedonia 63.7 61.8 65.6 158 Mauritania 41.4 40.2 42.5
65 Azerbaijan 63.7 60.6 66.7 159 Togo 40.7 40.0 41.4
66 Qatar 63.5 64.2 62.8 160 South Africa 39.8 38.6 41.0
67 Cook Islands 63.4 62.2 64.5 161 Chad 39.4 38.6 40.2
68 Kuwait 63.2 63.0 63.4 162 Kenya 39.3 39.0 39.6
69 Estonia 63.1 58.1 68.1 163 Nigeria 38.3 38.1 38.4
70 Ukraine 63.0 58.5 67.5 164 Swaziland 38.1 37.8 38.4
71 Paraguay 63.0 60.7 65.3 165 Angola 38.0 37.0 38.9
72 Oman 63.0 61.8 64.1 166 Djibouti 37.9 37.7 38.1
73 Turkey 62.9 64.0 61.8 167 Guinea 37.8 37.0 38.5
74 Colombia 62.9 60.3 65.5 168 Afghanistan 37.7 36.7 38.7
75 Tonga 62.9 61.4 64.3 169 Eritrea 37.7 38.5 36.9
76 Sri Lanka 62.8 59.3 66.3 170 Guinea-Bissau 37.2 36.8 37.5
77 Suriname 62.7 60.2 65.2 171 Lesotho 36.9 36.6 37.2
78 Mauritius 62.7 59.0 66.3 172 Madagascar 36.6 36.5 36.8
79 Dominican Republic 62.5 62.1 62.9 173 Somalia 36.4 35.9 36.9
80 Romania 62.3 58.8 65.8 174 Dem. Rep. Congo 36.3 36.4 36.2
81 S. Korea 62.3 59.9 64.7 175 Ctral African Rep 36.0 35.6 36.5
82 China 62.3 61.2 63.3 176 Tanzania 36.0 35.9 36.1
83 Latvia 62.2 57.1 67.2 177 Namibia 35.6 35.8 35.4
84 Belarus 61.7 56.2 67.2 178 Burkina Faso 35.5 35.3 35.7
85 Algeria 61.6 62.5 60.7 179 Burundi 34.6 34.6 34.6
86 Niue 61.6 61.0 62.2 180 Mozambique 34.4 33.7 35.1
87 St.Kits & Nevis 61.6 58.7 64.4 181 Liberia 34.0 33.8 34.2
88 El Salvador 61.5 58.6 64.5 182 Ethiopia 33.5 33.5 33.5
89 Moldova 61.5 58.5 64.5 183 Mali 33.1 32.6 33.5
90 Malaysia 61.4 61.3 61.6 184 Zimbabwe 32.9 33.4 32.4
91 Tunisia 61.4 62.0 60.7 185 Rwanda 32.8 32.9 32.7
92 Russian Federation 61.3 56.1 66.4 186 Uganda 32.7 32.9 32.5
93 Honduras 61.1 60.0 62.3 187 Botswana 32.3 32.3 32.2
94 Ecuador 61.0 59.9 62.1 188 Zambia 30.3 30.0 30.7
189 Malawi 29.4 29.3 29.4
190 Niger 29.1 28.1 30.1
191 Sierra Leone 25.9 25.8