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101,000 People In America Didn’t Have To Die

Last year in America, 101,000 people died who didn�t have to. [Reuters]

The United States is ranked last among the 19t most developed countries in �preventable deaths due to treatable conditions,� according to researchers writing in the journal Health Affairs.

The best three nations in this department, according to the journal, are Japan, France and Australia. If our health systems were as good as theirs, the study concludes, 101,000 fewer people would die every year.

The main cause suggested by the study? The 47 million people without health insurance.

�I wouldn�t say [the last-place ranking] is a condemnation, because I think health care in the U.S. is pretty good if you have access. But if you don�t, I think that�s the main problem, isn�t it?� says researcher Ellen Nolte.

Reminder: At $7,026 per person, America spends more than twice as much per capita on health care than any other country. [LA Times]

Says Commonwealth Fund Senior Vice President Cathy Schoen: �The fact that other countries are reducing these preventable deaths more rapidly, yet spending far less, indicates that policy, goals and efforts to improve health systems make a difference.�

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