Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Reducing Poverty: "There's No Secret Sauce"

Fareed Zakaria, in his recent article (video of same is below), says that we are paying dearly to care for citizens whose health was compromised in their youth, by "malnutrition and poor childhood health care."

Those were some eye-opening statistics:
  • The US ranks 31st of 34 developed countries in percent of population that qualifies as poor. (US: (17.3%), UK (at 11%), Germany (8.9%), France (7.2%), OECD average is 11%.)
  • Childhood poverty in US is 20.6%.
  • Only 77% of US children graduate from high school. Switzerland (90%), UK (91%), Finland (93%), Germany (97%).
Zakaria began his story with a quote from Mitt Romney:
"I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I'll fix it. I'm not concerned about the very rich; they're doing just fine. I'm concerned about the very heart of America, the 90-95% of Americans who right now are struggling."
To which Zakaria replied:
"By Romney's calculations, if 95% of Americans fall in the middle class, then there must be less than 5% of Americans who qualify as poor.

Well, no.

The number from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the association of the world's developed economies, is actually 17.3%."
I can't tell from this if Romney knows that 20% of US children are very poor, and will end up costing our country in the long run. I don't know if it's true, as he says, that we should not be concerned about them.


Anonymous said...

Universal health care anyone?

Bix said...

Canada seems to have a nice healthcare system:

Health care in Canada

Anonymous said...

Japan has a national health care that works because the gov't puts a lid on the services. Let's say if a CAT scan cost $1200 in the US in Japan it's only $300 no matter which hospital or clinic you go to because the gov't regulate the cost of health care. You can see a doctor anytime. I heard though that doctors in Japan has a special tax break which is why there's a lot of doctors for the population.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, it's a neck scan that costs $1200. I read this article a few months ago and had to look for it.

Bix said...

$10-a-night hospital stays! Willickers. I wonder who carries the ultimate cost. It's nice that they cover everyone, without discrimination.

Anonymous said...

Bix, the health insurance is charge acc. to your income....the higher your income the higher you pay into it but there's a cap on how much they can charge. I know....I lived there for many years. I gave birth to 2 of my kids there and they wanted me to stay in the clinic for 10 days to be pampered and catered to. Of course I didn't want to stay that long. They let me go home after 5 days.The food in the hospital was soooo good and healthy! And heated toilet seats with warm water sprays and hot air to dry your bottom are standard every where even public places. A treat when you have just given birth. google toto washlets just to give you an idea.

Laurie Endicott Thomas said...

Better than universal health care, let's have expanded and improved Medicare for All, as provided by HR 676. www.healthcare-now.org.

Besides looking at our low rate of high school graduation, consider the fact that children in the U.S. are simply far less able to read because they aren't taught phonics or grammar.

Bix said...

That's interesting about the sliding scale. I did see in that story that Japanese had to buy health insurance, ~$280/month for a family. And that hospitals and medical businesses are privately owned. It seems more like what we have here, except the cost is less for the patient?

Even here, people may purchase insurance but still fail to go to the doc or take meds because of high deductibles, copays, coinsurance, fees, and uncoverables. (Medicare Part D's donut hole is atrocious! You have seniors on fixed incomes cutting pills or just not taking them.)

10 days to be pampered and catered to... !