Life expectancy in the United States has dropped again for the second year in a row. We cannot deny that these grim statistics in the U.S. reflect not failures of the medical community, but of public policy.
An increased quality of life for generation after generation used to be taken for granted in the United States. But 2016 Center for Disease Control statistics released last week reveal that the life expectancy in the U.S. has dropped again for the second year in a row.
A two year consecutive drop in life expectancy hasn’t occurred since 1962 and prior to that, the last consecutive two-year drop was the 1920s. And unfortunately, the data available for the first half of 2017 indicates a continuation of the trend. If this trend continues for three years in a row, it will be the first time in a century, since the Spanish Flu pandemic, that we have witnessed such blow to our nation’s lifespan.
We cannot deny that this increase is largely due to an sharp rise in opiate deaths and suicides. So many of our people fall into a deadly cycle of drugs, and instead of receiving vital treatment, they are treated as criminals. I have seen my students fall victim to this, and I have seen the system fail them time and time again. This generation also feels increasingly alone; they feel shut out in a world increasingly becoming more connected.
And these ominous U.S. statistics are shockingly out of sync with the rest of the industrialized world. Many nations have actually seen steady improvements in life expectancy.
Young people are more educated than previous generations but have less disposable income than ever before, due in most part to higher education debt. Nearly half (46%) of Americans don’t have $400 worth of savings. Meaning that if an unexpected illness or broken fuel pump were to strike, they would likely face significant financial hardship.
Medical costs have also continued to be the primary cause of bankruptcies. And we cannot accept this reality as the new normal in the richest country in the world. These challenges justifiably seem insurmountable, but if we commit ourselves to fighting for a more just and equitable society we can right this wrong. Together, we can build a society where no one is left behind and no one is forgotten.
We must elect new representatives who are unbought by special interests and are determined to put average Americans first. This would mean a marked realignment of spending priorities and a choice to make responsible budgetary decisions--a virtue on which Conservatives used to pride themselves.
This requires a recognition that we can’t afford to slash corporate taxes if our goal is to guarantee healthcare to everyone. We can’t afford a 1.5 trillion dollar increase in the deficit if we want to guarantee debt free higher education.
If you’re as disheartened as I am with the direction our country is headed, help me show the moneyed interests, who dictate our failed policy, what the priorities of the people are.
My campaign will not accept a dime of special interest money or PAC money, so that when elected to Congress, I can represent the people of the Second District instead endlessly raising money for the next election.
If you are tired of seeing the U.S. fall behind and want to do something about it, please join our campaign. November 2018 starts now.
"We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." -- Justice Louis Brandeis