Health is declining in the United States, middle-aged Americans are more to likely be disabled and die sooner a new study from the Society of Actuaries indicates.
The average life expectancy for Americans actually declined and the mortality (death) rate for Americans increased by 1.5% between 2014 and 2015, Bloomberg Technology reported. This is only the second time since 1980 that has occurred.
The health of middle-aged Americans is now worse than it was 10 or 15 years ago a study in the journal Health Affairs concluded. Some indicators of the terrible shape of average Americans include:
- People in their 50s reported more serious health problems than they did 10 to 15 years ago.
- Around 12.5% or one in 10 people aged 58 to 60 had a disability that limited daily activity in 2014 and 2015, University of Michigan Economists HwaJung Choi and Robert Schoeni concluded.
- The percentage of disabled people 58 to 60 was higher than the percentage for those 65 to 67 and persons over 65. Around 8.8% of 65-year-olds reported a significant disability, compared to 12.5% of 58 to 60-year-olds.
- Around 25% of Americans 58 to 60 admitted that they were in poor health. That was 2.6% higher than for those over 65.
- Around 11% of people 58 to 60 were already showing some signs of dementia (loss of mental ability). This higher than for 65 to 66-year-olds where the rate was 9.5%.
- The average life expectancy for Americans fell by .2% in the last few years.
There are two outside factors that make these numbers less scary than they seem. The first of those factors is that medical testing is getting better, so health problems are more likely to get detected.
The second is that more Americans are reporting disabilities in order to get Social Security Disability payments because they need the money because of income inequality. In today’s economy, some people need Social Security Disability to eat and pay the bills.
Study makes a great case for Single Payer Healthcare
This study also makes a great case for single-payer healthcare or Medicare for All. A great many of the disabled people probably got that way because they had health problems that were untreated because they could not afford medical care.
Many of those with health problems go untreated which raises the death rate. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) is absolutely right; lack of access to medical care is killing Americans.
It is no coincidence that those old enough to access America’s single-payer healthcare system for the elderly Medicare (coverage begins at 65) are in better health. It also seems no coincidence that older people who were more likely get health insurance through their jobs were in better in health.
This study shows why we should resist any attempt to raise the Medicare age and extend its coverage to all Americans. It demonstrates how and why Medicare for All would save both lives and money.
The Numbers Prove Medicare for All Makes Sense
Medicare for All would save money because there would be fewer people disabled by untreated health problems.
It would also stop many Americans from making the horrible choice of stopping work in order to qualify for Medicaid in order to get the healthcare they need. That is the only option some Americans have for “affordable healthcare.”
Beyond that healthier workers would stay on the job longer and pay more money into Social Security and more taxes benefiting everybody. More money would also be added to the economy because fewer workers would quit their jobs in order to qualify for Medicaid.
The numbers prove that Medicare for All makes sense. Now all we need to do is get politicians to pay attention to them. The only way they can do that for Americans is to give all politicians of both parties an offer they cannot refuse. The offer is “no Medicare for All, no vote.” Such a stand will get politicians attention because it affects the only three numbers they care about, polls, vote counts, and their salaries.
Such a stand is extreme but it must be taken because the numbers show Americans are dying and becoming disabled for lack of single-payer health insurance. The time for compromise is over, what is needed now is Medicare for All.