Applying measures used by the UN in developing countries, a group headed by Oxfam and several foundations has concluded the U.S. is now 42nd in life expectancy, mainly because of poor health care in poorer areas.
Perhaps the most shocking finding is that life expectancy is 8 years longer in Connecticut, among the wealthiest states, compared with Mississippi, the poorest. (Buy the report from Amazon here.)
The bottom line is that in the U.S. your lifespan is closely correlated with your bank balance. Liberals are already flogging the report, but I have yet to read any conservative comment on it. (Got any? Bring it on.)
Still, is anyone going to do anything about it?
The American Human Development Project features a cool interactive map where you can see just how your state stacks up. There's also a Well-o-Meter where you can see what your individual "human development index" is.
States with lowest life expectancy are among the most conservative politically, as are those with the least education.
The correlation between health and income isn't quite so clear-cut. States like Idaho and Montana have lower income indices but better health indices than in the South. They also have less ethnic diversity. I think Mr. Randy Newman can explain it all to you.
Over all, the work's introduction says UN statistics rated the U.S. the 12th most livable country in 2007. The new report breaks down these measures by state and congressional district, as well as race and sex.
Co-author Sarah Burd-Sharps said while the U.S. is both rich and powerful, it is "woefully behind when it comes to providing opportunity and choices to all Americans to build a better life."
We're becoming a nation of young minorities serving aging, rich white folks who die before their clients.