Crisis of Abundance: Rethinking How We Pay for Health Care

Crisis of Abundance: Rethinking How We Pay for Health Care

Crisis of Abundance: Rethinking How We Pay for Health Care

Crisis of Abundance: Rethinking How We Pay for Health Care

Excerpt

Health care is not what it used to be. Today, many people with back pain are sent for magnetic resonance imaging, or an MRI. Thirty years ago, this was not the case.

In 1975, the health care available to a typical middle-class American family was reasonably good. Antibiotics cured infections. Vaccinations prevented diseases that had been scourges for earlier generations. Childbirth was fairly safe, for both the mother and the infant.

A number of diseases had been essentially conquered, including polio and tuberculosis. Pneumonia and flu, which caused significant deaths earlier in this century, were responsible for few fatalities by 1975.

By 1975, deaths from cardiovascular disease among people aged 45–64, which were more than 600 per 100,000 people in the 1940s and 1950s, had plunged to slightly more than 400 per 100,000. Note that this is not due solely to better medical care. Other factors, such as better working conditions and earlier retirement, probably also played a role.

The high quality of health care in 1975 was reflected in national health statistics. Infant mortality, which by the 1940s was already low, fell another 50 percent by 1975, so that only 1.5 percent of infants failed to survive their first year. Life expectancy at birth was estimated to have increased from around 66.5 in 1945 to about 72.5 in 1975. Again, bear in mind that factors other than health care contributed to lower infant mortality and to greater life expectancy.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.