From The Guardian: “The US healthcare system is helping to kill people in staggering numbers. And when it isn’t driving Americans to an early grave, the medical industry is bleeding the rest of the country of resources at the expense of decent jobs, crucial infrastructure and schools, according to a new  book by two of the country’s leading economists.
As America’s health system faces its greatest challenge of recent times in the coronavirus, Anne Case and Angus Deaton, who won the 2015 Nobel prize for economics, say the pursuit of profit by medical corporations has played a leading role in the surge of ‘deaths of despair’ since the 1990s, led by opioid overdoses, alcoholism and suicide.
The Princeton economists were the first to reveal the phenomenon which by 2017 was claiming the lives of 158,000 Americans every year – a number they liken to three 737s’ worth of passengers falling out of the sky every day. Case and Deaton, who are married, also discovered that the surge in deaths of despair was overwhelmingly among white working-class Americans without a university degree, and that it was forcing down life expectancy in the US.
Now their new book, Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism, explores why this tragedy is an unusually American phenomenon and concludes that the greed of the US’s medical corporations was both an important driver in creating the conditions for the rise in deaths of despair and in providing the means for many to kill themselves.”
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