How they do it better

Butch’s post below, which I’ve linked, is pretty interesting. I can vouch for the naps in Taiwan. I’m trying to make that happen here in Columbus, but to no avail. One thing to remember, they work long hours in Taiwan. If you have a 35 hour work-week, what’s the need for a nap?

LogiPundit: How They Do It Better

I will take issue with…uh, Mom with her reasoning behind Costa Rica’s long life expectancy. A quick look at Nationmaster indicates that Costa Rica (pop. 4 million) and the United States (300 + million) have equivalent life expectancies. A quick look at some other stats reveals some interesting findings. Costa Rica has a 50% higher infant mortality rate than the U.S. and a maternal mortality rate (deaths at childbirth) that is 3 times that of the U.S. There is also a greater chance an toddler makes it to 5 years in the U.S., etc.

A fairer barometer may be to compare Costa Rica to other Central American countries, but since Costa Rica has historically been better off than it’s neighbors (hence the name), I don’t think universal health care is the cause of better life expectancy there, but rather universal health care is an effect of relatively well off and small society. I am more inclined to believe the underlying diet of Costa Ricans does play a role in their life expectancy. 30% of Americans are considered obese, whereas Costa Rica doesn’t even have the stat (no doubt it is much lower).

All that to say I don’t think Costa Rica health care systems is necessarily a cause of higher life expectancy, and thus Hillary care/Universal coverage is not the answer here in the US.


6 Responses to “How they do it better”

  1. MOM Says:

    I wasn’t comparing Costa Rica to its neighbors; I was comparing the life expectancy there to the life expectancy in the U.S. You looked up the infant mortality rate and then extrapolated that the reason there is a higher life expectancy is because all of the unhealthy humans die as babies? I don’t understand your reasoning. There is an inverse relationship between infant mortality rate and life expectancy. Any drop in the infant mortality rate results in an increase in the life expectancy rate. (So Costa Rica’s higher infant mortality rate lowers life expectancy rate and they are still beating us in that department.)

    Costa Ricans pay 6.5% of their salary for national health insurance. Some employers pay part or all of this amount. There is also a system for those without health-care cards. Many Costa Ricans think the system is being stressed by the number of refugees from Nicaragua (500,000 in 2003).

    As of September 2006, Americans spend twice as much on health care as a percentage of gdp than most industrialized nations, the U.S. has the highest infant mortality rate and lowest life expectancy of 20 industrialized countries, and 61,000,000 Amerians have no or inadequate health-care coverage.

    Sooner or later, the population numbers (number of voters without health care) will dictate that all of the candidates address this issue. Hillary maybe is early in doing it, but it’s coming.

  2. MOM Says:

    Hi, Johnny,

    Why do your answers appear in the main text of Logipundit and mine get discarded into the “reply” section. How do I get top billing?

  3. MOM Says:

    Or as Chomsky says: For every $1 spent on social programs, i.e., health care, it’s the same as spending $1 for defense. When do we stop the stupid “wars” and start taking care of our own people? Or we can continue giving $1 for one cent of return to Halliburton and its subsidiaries.

  4. JohnnyB Says:

    Is it ok if I call you Scottie’s Mom? Psychologically, it’s hard for me to argue with “mom”.

    I looked up life expectancy as well and found them equivalent for the US and Costa Rica.

    Here’s why the infant mortality statistic is important. Life expectancy accounts for a number of issues, crime, obesity, AIDS, drug use, etc. That 30% of Americans are obese is not the fault of bad medicine, for instance. Infant mortality is a good measure of adequate health care, and I think access to that health care. Costa Rica is way behind on that simple measure.

    If you want to take it country by country, I’m willing to do so. Unfortunately full time blogging is not my job and I have some deadlines coming up. I have heard that France has good health care because people have the freedom to opt out of the taxpayer backed health care. In Canada, you need an order by the Supreme Court to do so. Unfortunately the Democrats would want to coerce us all into equal health care to the detriment of many. Monopsony power by any body, particularly the government, does not make me happy.

    Thanks for the thoughts. Also, to get top billing you need to be an author, otherwise comments go down here. In order to become and author you’ll have to fill out some paperwork providing proof of employment and citizenship, and submit it to the NIH, and they should get back to you in 6-8 weeks. If you are not a U.S. citizen or employed, don’t worry, we’ll post on your behalf 😉

  5. MOM Says:

    Hi, Johnny,

    Yep, I’m Scottie’s mom. I like to have the psychological advantage of being “Mom”, though. Costa Rica was a nice experience. The doctors there saved me from a severe allergic reaction to something. I nearly died. After an hour in their emergency room, I was stablized and ok. Their doctors study everywhere, in Europe, in the U.S. Their educational level is very high; that’s why Intel relocated there from Asia. There is an actual case of a French man who relocated there and has had lung cancer since 1980 and he is still living — in Jaco.

    I, too, am against “Big Government” (anything done by government can usually be done cheaper by private enterprises), but, maybe the time has come to do something about the middle-class and lower-middle-class people who work, but can’t afford adequate health insurance (welfare people and old people are already taken care of by the government). Either one has to become a slave of the government or a slave to the medical establishment, a society, which, in my opinion, hasn’t done much for the middle-class working smuck. I think I prefer the government to them. If one has to lose one’s house and one’s salary forever to have health care, there’s something wrong with the system. Middle-class America accounts for most of the tax revenues generated in the U.S. What are these people getting for their taxes? It’s about accountability. If I pay my taxes to invade Iraq, what do I get in return? (certainly not more security against terrorist actions). The government should be accountable to its people. If they had spent the same amount as they have spent in Iraq to subsidize medical care, or at least medical insurance, Americans would have profited from that. Who is profiting from Iraq?

    In France, a trip to the doctor costs 21 euros. Try seeing a doctor in the U.S. for that amount. One pays extra for coverage for all charges; in our case, 150 euros a month, but catastrophic medical expenses are already covered 100% by the government. We are old. 150 euros per month is cheap compared to the U.S. I cannot afford to live in the U.S. if my husband dies because one trip to the doctor for something major would bankrupt me, or at my age, the cost of health insurance would be prohibitive. If the government cannot subsidize medical care, at least it could mandate that private enterprises and government entities provide insurance for their employees. That’s possible, with proper controls on the insurance industry, of course. After all, businesses can deduct everything from their taxes that they pay for employees. Already, that is a sort of subsidy.

    Another thing that rips me: Americans are told that they pay much less taxes than Europe. I can tell you for sure that in the following instances, that is not true:

    Property taxes: In Florida I paid $2000 a year property taxes on a $120,000 house (the book value on the tax rolls was $120,000). In France, my husband paid approximately $2000 a year for a $700,000 house near Paris. This was inclusive of habitation tax. Habitation tax is a tax paid by anyone who lives in a house. While we were in Yemen, the renters paid the habitation tax.

    Income taxes: British people are moving to France because the taxes are so cheap here for retirement.

    Don’t let “them” kid you. They are taking as much as Europe, but they aren’t spending it on their citizens.

    By the way, I am American. What is the “NIH”?

  6. Logipundit Says:

    National Institutes of Health? Not sure.

    By the way, Mom, if you’d like to be able to start your own post, you can do that on the LogiReader’s blog.

    Send an email to and I’ll send you an invite for that.

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