America's Health Deficit: Dying From Policy Neglect [From The Editor-in-Chief]

Health Affairs

Even as the nation’s policy makers feud over fiscal deficits, they seem largely clueless about another shortfall: the nation’s large, and growing, health gap. A sobering report from the Institute of Medicine, U.S. Health in International Perspective, notes that US life expectancy is decidedly lower than that of at least 16 other countries that we might consider our global peers. What’s more, the report adds, the United States has “a longstanding pattern of poorer health” that is also “strikingly consistent and pervasive over the life course,” from birth to old age.