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Blumenthal: Falling U.S. Life Expectancy an ‘Indictment of the American Health Care System’


Placing much of the blame for recent declines in average U.S. life expectancy on “the way the U.S. health care system functions,” Commonwealth Fund President David Blumenthal, M.D., says the nation needs fundamental change, including “reforming our pharmaceutical markets and making good health insurance available to all Americans.” In an op-ed published in STAT, Blumenthal discusses new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing that average life expectancy at birth fell in 2016 by 0.1 years, to 78.6, after a similar drop in 2015. In 25 other developed countries, life expectancy in 2015 was 81.8 years.

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