On average, people in the United States die much younger and suffer worse health, as well as endure serious societal dysfunction, compared to people in other rich nations. The usual explanation is that we engage in too many adverse personal health behaviours and do not have access to the right medicines. Presenting the evidence that personal behaviours affect only a small fraction of our health status as a population leads to 'but....' responses. The idea that health care has limited impact on mortality measures in societies is not believable to most people, regardless of their level of education or even their experience or training in health care.
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