That's the title of a study published by The Journal of the American Medical Association. The study attempted to determine whether the "considerably greater" US health expenditure of US$5274 per capita vs the UK percapita expenditure of US$ 2164 resulted in a better health outcome for Americans.

Not even slightly surprisingly it doesn't. It's bad, shockingly bad. How Bad? This bad:

The top of your American society is as unhealthy as the bottom of their British one.

The United State has a considerably greater expenditure on medical care (US $5274 per capita) than in the United Kingdom (US $2164 adjusting for purchasing power). To determine whether that expenditure translates into better health outcomes for the adult US population, data on the degree of morbidity in each country beyond the childhood years are needed.

Given the strong link between socioeconomic position and health in both countries, cross-country comparisons of morbidity should examine variation of morbidity according to comparable measures of socioeconomic position. Cross-country comparison of social differences in illness provides some insight into potential causal explanations. Access to health care is a particular case in point. Although publicly funded health care is available in both countries to citizens older than 65 years, the UK National Health Service has no age criterion for eligibility. Thus, British households are more isolated from any financial impacts of out-of-pocket medical expenses. A similar argument applies to earnings and job losses, for which the more generous UK income maintenance system should mitigate any effects of health changes on income and wealth there compared with what is available in the United States.


US residents are much less healthy than their English counterparts and these differences exist at all points of the SES distribution ... The US population in late middle age is less healthy than the equivalent British population for diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, myocardial infarction, stroke, lung disease, and cancer ... These differences are not solely driven by the bottom of the SES distribution. In many diseases, the top of the SES distribution is less healthy in the United States as well.


Oh but please don't stop there it gets better …

With the sole exception of cancer, there exists a sharp negative gradient across both education and income groups in both countries ... As a result, country differences are larger and tend to be more statistically different at the bottom of the social hierarchy than at the top. Level differences between countries are sufficiently large that individuals in the top of the education and income strata in the United States have comparable rates of diabetes and heart disease as those in the bottom of the income and education strata in England."

There's lot more very useful ammunition for the discerning firepup where that came from …

Source: Disease and Disadvantage in the United States and in England [PDF] published 2006 The Journal of the American Medical Association.

The thing that leaps out from the pages of the study isn't just that the desperately underfunded and understaffed NHS outperforms the American health sector on most health outcomes although that is made eminently clear. No, what leaps from the pages is the way in which the American system betrays the overwhelming majority of the American population in the interests of making profits. The ever increasingly bizarre campaign to persuade Americans to keep their current rates of death, misery, and despair is being waged by a pack of parasites interested in one thing and one thing only. Money.

A health system that puts profit before patients as the current private enterprise system in the US does is not in fact a health system — it's economic sociopathy gone berserk.



As a rule, Republican leaders are delighted to see angry right-wing activists mobilizing in opposition to health care reform. Top GOP officials haven't been joining the angry mob-like protests, but they have been egging their base on, and looking the other way when conservatives go too far (death threats, swastikas, nooses, etc.).

As pleased as the party is to have the mobilizing right-wing support, there is an unexpected dilemma for Republicans: an enraged monster can be unpredictable, and can even turn in unhelpful directions.

Conservatives are calling it their August Revolt -- a surprising upsurge of activism against President Obama's proposed healthcare overhaul.

Spurred on by the success of their efforts to dominate the news at Democratic town hall meetings, conservative groups are reporting increases in membership lists and are joining forces to plan at least one mass demonstration in Washington next month.

But the conservative mobilization has also created an unusual dilemma for Republican leaders, who want to turn the enthusiasm into election victories next year but find themselves the target of ire from many of the same activists.

It seems some far-right lawmakers aren't far-right enough for the mob. Sen. John Cornyn (R) of Texas was booed by the Tea Baggers. Rep. Bob Inglis (R) of South Carolina was shouted down for mild criticism of Glenn Beck. Rep. John Sullivan (R) of Oklahoma was chastised by his constituents this week for not working harder to investigate the president's place of birth.

Inglis, who is by no reasonable measure a moderate, noted that "hostility went straight through to hysteria" at town-hall meetings. Noting that the activists are driven by bogus arguments that are obviously wrong, Inglis added, "You cannot build a movement on something that is not credible."

Well, they can try. Inglis now faces a primary challenger from the even-further-right-wing contingent of the GOP.