To the editor: Life expectancy at birth is better in 39 countries than it is in the U.S., even though we are the richest country in the world (CIA World Factbook). Obviously, we value other things more than we value human health. All of the Europeans live longer, as do people in South Korea, Bermuda, New Zealand, Taiwan, and the Turks and Caicos Islands, among many more. There are other measures of health, too, that demonstrate the failures of unequal medical care. (See the Global Health Security Index). We don’t really score very well on any of them, sadly, with the wealthy and those in grinding poverty living together in our highly stratified society but not sharing equal access to medical care.
In a recent NPR story, a young man describes his medical issues resulting from the flu, which have left him in lifetime debt before the age of 30,