Wednesday, September 11, 2019

More on Crashing Life Expectancy in the US

As a follow up to my post, Crashing Life Expectancy in the United States, Michael G. emails:
Bob –  When you write below that this is a result of the socialization of medicine you leave yourself open to the counterpoint that Europe has socialized medicine and is not experiencing this drop off in life expectancy.  In my view the largest reason for this is due to the American diet and resulting obesity levels.  The US has an obesity problem that far outstrips other first world nations.  The carb rich and erroneously dangerous USDA food pyramid is the primary culprit.  Worse, our medical community resorts to drugs to treat this epidemic (largely in the form of diabetes, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular drugs).

The ”socialization of medicine”, while a big problem in and of itself and the primary cause in rising healthcare costs, it is difficult to make that argument when other socialized medicine countries are not seeing the same reduction in life expectancy.
RW response:

I consider the USDA food pyramid (influenced by the crony carb-industrial complex) and the medical community, which is totally influenced by the crony-American Medical Association and crony-pharma, part of the socialization of US medical care. It, of course, starts with the governmet-created oligopoly in medical education in the US.

When I think socialization, I am not thinking just the payment system but also the government influence on healthcare advice and medical practices. The medical drug system in the US is extremely socialistic and crooked. Most doctors in the US just buy the government propaganda. And the crony government-controlled hospital/medical cost structure in the US is obscene.

These are the problems and government is more and more making the rules about healthcare here in the US. Obamacare was just another big step in that direction which is probably cutting treatment out for those on the margin. The new push for "end of life" planning by the medical ethicist creeps is also part of it

European countries may have a bit more socialization of the payment system but much of the extreme crony directed healthcare that is exploding here in the US doesn't exist overseas. The extremely lower prices in foreign countries for drugs, for example, is a signal that the crony influence isn't as great.

The AMA with its role in influencing the US government to limit medical education in the US is probably one of the greatest killer organizations on the planet.



  1. Also I think that Europeans just eat and live healthier than Americans in general which gives Europeans an advantage that the US has to counter via better medical care. (Imagine, as thought experiment, there was no medical care at all. Hands down I believe Europeans would have a longer life expactancy on average).

  2. If we are looking at a change in life expectancy rather than life expectancy as such then it would not matter if European rates are higher or lower, unless the only factor that contributes to life expectancy is health/medical care. This is obviously absurd, although people, especially on the left, talk as if it is the case.

  3. Medical schools rarely have in their curriculum a course on nutrition and health, yet many MDs feel they're qualified to give diet advice, and patients comply. A very bad idea.

  4. Obesity in the US is over 10% higher per capita than Western Europe. Do Euros have healthier diets than us fat Americans? I don’t know but, in my experience no. What I have seen is that Euros are not prescribed as much pharmaceuticals as Americanos.

    It also seems that they are not as stressed out as we are. Stress can cause more cortisol to be released. High levels of cortisol can cause a number of health issues including storing more fat and high blood pressure.

  5. All of this is conjecture, but the changing US healthcare system could be a factor. Also, since the baby boomers are aging, perhaps the change has something to do with their lifestyle that was unique from previous generations. I have heard countless baby boomers say things like “we had leased gas, and it didn’t hurt us” , “ we used to play with mercury when we were kids and it didn’t hurt us” . Along with the increase in drug use of the baby boomers compared to previous generations. I don’t know if any of this was seen more in Americans than Europeans, the point is it is all conjecture and there may be other, yet unexplored, reasons for the change.

    I have noticed healthcare get worse, seemingly, in the past 15 years though. The most noteworthy, in my opinion, is the rise of PA’s and nurse practitioners. Some of them may be “good” at what they do, but none of them are doctors. I have had some pretty bad experiences with nurse practitioners who think they know more than they do. Also, they may be able to handle “normal” stuff, but throw them a curve ball and they have no idea what to do. This is why it isn’t a great idea to let a nurse anesthetist give you anesthesia for a procedure, especially if you are elderly or have health problems.