People in the United States do not enjoy the favourable health outcomes of other rich nations despite spending almost half of the world’s health care bill. Disparities in health within the nation are also greater than in other developed countries. Explanations for this fact relate to the greater health inequalities present in the US. The challenge is to get Americans to recognise that they die younger and lead less healthy lives than they should. The political will to create policies that would promote healthy lives will need to be sustained for generations if health disparities are to be overcome.
The US is the richest and most powerful nation in world history. Close to half of the globe’s dollar billionaires live there. American military might is unprecedented. The US Declaration of Independence bespeaks an inalienable right for citizens to have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The duration of that life is not specified, however, and today in comparison to other rich nations, it is substantially shorter. This sad comparison has been observed for decades and published in government documents, but is not widely known by most people.