Your Views: Obamacare is critical to economy’s survival

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The U.S. has the most expensive health care system in the world.

Health care spending consumes 17.3 percent of our gross domestic product, twice as much per capita as most developed countries.

Yet the U.S. ranks 19th in the world in preventable death, 26th in life expectancy and 31st in infant mortality (PBS documentary “Money and Medicine”).

Americans eat more fatty foods, fewer fresh fruits and vegetables and rely on prepared foods laden with refined sugars and triple the salt our bodies need. We are sedentary when our bodies demand physical exercise. According to the National Institutes of Health, 70 percent of health outcomes are related to lifestyle, 10 percent to heredity, 10 percent to environmental hazards and only 10 percent to medical care.

The U.S. is one of only two countries in the world that allow prescription drug advertising. It takes fortitude for a physician to not write a script for a pricey wonder drug that is barely better than long-standing generics.

The Republican claim that the Affordable Care Act will bankrupt our nation is preposterous. Tea party leaders such as Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor demand budget cuts in critical areas needed to sustain a customer base. Without a stable customer base, our standard of living is doomed.

I admire President Obama’s discipline, his reliance on evidence versus blind claims, his ability to adapt to evidence and see the long-term horizon. The Affordable Care Act makes the most of a very broken system.



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