"Just like smoking and diabetes, lack of health insurance is an early death sentence." — Sarah Burd-Sharps

This post’s headline is taken from a quote by Sarah Burd-Sharps’s in a Boston Globe editorial on the health care challenges facing Barack Obama’s incoming administration.

Burd-Sharps is the co-author of The Measure of America: American Human Development Report 2008-2009, which documents “how the roughly $5.2 billion we spend every day on healthcare yields a pitiable return on investment. For example, US life expectancy ranks below that of Chile, Costa Rica, and nearly every European and Nordic country. The US infant mortality rate is on par with that of Croatia, Cuba, Estonia, and Poland. Within the United States, stark health inequities persist along socioeconomic and racial/ethnic lines.” The editorial also points out, based on information in The Measure of America, “Every rich nation in the world except ours [The United States] has figured out how to provide health coverage to virtually every citizen – and at far lower cost per capita.”

For more on The Measure of America, here’s a video based on findings from the book:

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