The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Darcey Rakestraw,
Emily Leach,

CDC Report Underscores Need for Medicare For All

Public Citizen Calls U.S. Life Expectancy in Relation to Peers A “National Embarrassment”

Today the U.S. Centers for Disease Control released a report noting that U.S. life expectancy rose for the first time in two years, after dropping in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research has shown that lack of universal health care may have exacerbated U.S. mortality rates due to COVID-19, and that Medicare for All would have better prepared the nation to withstand the pandemic.

According to the Petersen-KFF Health System Tracker, the U.S. has the lowest life expectancy among large, wealthy countries with universal health care. A 2020 study by the University of Pennsylvania revealed that a shift to Medicare for All would increase life expectancy by almost two years. The Commonwealth Fund has also found that the United States had worse health outcomes despite spending significantly more on health care than its peers.

Eagan Kemp, Health Care Policy advocate at Public Citizen, released the following statement.

“While it is good news that U.S. life expectancy is finally rising again, it is important to remember that despite spending the most per capita on health care, we have a consistently lower life expectancy than our peers in comparably wealthy countries with universal health care. We must keep making the point that profit-driven health care is not only worse for patients – it’s a national embarrassment. Our leaders must act to kick insurance companies to the curb and enact Medicare for All now.”

Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that champions the public interest in the halls of power. We defend democracy, resist corporate power and work to ensure that government works for the people - not for big corporations. Founded in 1971, we now have 500,000 members and supporters throughout the country.

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