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Mon Jun 27, 2016, 05:54 AM

Poverty Doesn’t Stop Cuba From Keeping Its Black Citizens Healthy. So What’s America’s Excuse?

Poverty Doesn’t Stop Cuba From Keeping Its Black Citizens Healthy. So What’s America’s Excuse?

Cuba is poorer and, due to the embargo, has had less access to drugs and medical equipment, yet its citizens live just as long, if not longer than people in the U.S.

By: Tonyaa J. Weathersbee
Posted: June 27, 2016

Whenever I hear Cubans talk about their nation’s advancements in health care, and when I think about where the U.S. is on all this, what I hear is a tale of two scarcities. The tales, however, end differently for the people of color who are the main characters.

Because Cuba has, for the past five decades, struggled to bring health care to all its citizens in spite of a U.S. embargo that cripples its ability to purchase drugs and medical equipment, it has kept most of its people well because it cannot afford for them to get sick.

“If you don’t see the doctor, the doctor will come to see you,” Juan Jacomino, a Radio Havana journalist who acted as our guide during a recent trip to one of the island’s many polyclinics, told me.

So Cuba has taken great steps to build health care around family and community. Physicians and nurses share the same neighborhoods with their patients. If someone isn’t going for their checkups, it doesn’t go unnoticed.

More:
http://www.theroot.com/articles/politics/2016/06/poverty-doesnt-stop-cuba-from-keeping-its-black-citizens-healthy-so-whats-americas-excuse/

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Reply Poverty Doesn’t Stop Cuba From Keeping Its Black Citizens Healthy. So What’s America’s Excuse? (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jun 2016 OP
secondwind Jun 2016 #1
Judi Lynn Jun 2016 #2
Mika Jun 2016 #8
upaloopa Jun 2016 #3
Judi Lynn Jun 2016 #4
upaloopa Jun 2016 #5
tk2kewl Jun 2016 #7
Mika Jun 2016 #10
Mika Jun 2016 #9
Igel Jun 2016 #6
bemildred Jun 2016 #11

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Jun 27, 2016, 06:02 AM

1. Cuba's healthcare system is wonderful, except for one thing.... It is easily accessible to --

in this order -- tourists, Cuban sports figures, actors, singers, etc... the general populace? not so much.

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Response to secondwind (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 27, 2016, 06:31 AM

2. You have a lot to learn about how the Cuban health system works.

Why on earth do you imagine Cuban people have such amazing health statistics, the highest in Latin America?

Because their "good medicine" is going to the parties you've posted?

We have DU posters who've both gone to tourist doctors in Cuba, and to domestic doctors, when taken by their friends in emergencies. Both services got glowing reviews.

Please don't try to post things like that you can't back up with legitimate sources. People here do research what they don't know, and there are MANY who have known the truth about Cuba, either from research, or from in person discovery.

[center]~ ~ ~[/center]
Please take a moment to scan the Vital Statistics from the United Nations on the Cuba Report:

Statistics

http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/cuba_statistics.html

Please compare them with those of the United States:

Statistics

http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/usa_statistics.html

[center]~ ~ ~[/center]
May 20, 2014
American Health Care: a Cuban Fix

by Mateo Pimentel

Despite the fact that the US altogether spends arguably more on public health than any other economic force in the West, next to nothing about its healthcare system is democratic. Like most everything else, this industry, or market sector, only exists to serve profit motive. Any ostensibly beneficial components, which might appear to favor the marginalized, are little more than the usual rotten fruits of a welfare capitalism that keeps the poor, working class divided against itself. As the system grows more and more costly, the rich get richer and the poor invariably continue to suffer. Ultimately, radically democratic change in American healthcare is necessary to fix the problem, and Cuba holds the answer.

. . .

A country like Cuba cannot afford to allow private enterprises to milk public pockets, nor does it want that for itself. Cuba has invoked a radically democratic means to ensure public health standards rise rather than fall in earnest. The result? Cuban healthcare far exceeds that of the US, and it does a far better job treating its body politic than America does her own. The fact is that Cuban healthcare is second to none. So, Americans should choose to learn from Cuba’s example, rather than falling victim to the systematized rhetoric that claims all things Cuban, and therefore all things communist, are inherently evil and of no use to them. Actually looking to some of the key components of Cuba’s sustainably democratic model would save the US populace both money and lives. The following are a six Cuban methods which the American people should adopt – forcefully, if necessary – in order to make healthcare cheaper, more democratic, and universal for all people living within the US.

Access

In order to shrink the existing disparity in its people’s healthcare, Cuba endeavored for complete accessibility. Increased accessibility thus led to the adoption of a universal system, one which yielded unprecedented levels of healthcare for all Cubans. By 1999, Cuba boasted one doctor per every 175 Cubans. With greater access and a new system predicated on it, new medical jobs were also created around the country.

Ingenuity and Innovation

Cuban policy allocates large amounts of funding to research. A poorer nation than the US, Cuba actually strives to comply with World Health Organization recommendations: Cuba funds a percentage of all health-related costs, as well a portion of its research and training programs. This is also born out of necessity; due to the US and its embargo-driven transgressions against the poor island nations, many vaccinations had to be developed in-house, rather than traded-for, with other nations. Still, Cuba has funded many break-through revolutions in the medical field. The US needs to have at least the same policy toward funding its medical research.

More:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/05/20/american-health-care-a-cuban-fix/

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Response to secondwind (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 27, 2016, 11:54 AM

8. And you saw/experienced this when?

 

I'd like to hear more about this. Thanks in advance.


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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Jun 27, 2016, 06:34 AM

3. We don't use race to determine who gets health care.

We were not a communist country. We are not as small as Cuba.

We are working our way toward universal health care despite huge opposition.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 27, 2016, 07:00 AM

4. For whom are you speaking? Have you even known the wild disparity between vital statistics

for African Americans and standard European descended Americans? How could you not know?

Why Black Americans Die Younger

Not all babies are born under equal circumstances, and they don't grow up the same way, either.

By Lindsey Cook | Data Editor Jan. 5, 2015, at 12:01 a.m.

The average African-American male lives five years less than the average white American male.



Lindsey Cook for USN≀ Source: CDC

The death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, prompted a national conversation about race and the justice system, with many concluding discrepancies exist in policing and sentencing that, apart from race, seem unexplainable.

Health is also far from post-racial. While America has made progress on this front, including through the Affordable Care Act, many gaps persist between blacks and whites. Issues in health and health care that lead to a shorter life span for black Americans start before birth. The average black baby enters the world under different circumstances than the average white baby, and the gap only grows between birth and death.

In 2012, about 13 percent of babies born to black mothers had low birth weights (less than 2,500 grams), compared with 7 percent of babies born to white mothers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the infant mortality rate for white America is 5.2 infants out of 1,000 births dying before age 1, the infant mortality rate for black America is much higher – 11.5 per 1,000 – putting the population subsection nearly on par with Mexico.


More:
http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/2015/01/05/black-americans-have-fewer-years-to-live-heres-why

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #4)

Mon Jun 27, 2016, 07:06 AM

5. There are a number of reason for the issues you listed

But there is not a concerted effort to deny health care to Blacks because of race.
I am sure in some cases there is, maybe many cases but it is not the rule.

You need to add context to your list.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 27, 2016, 07:43 AM

7. could it be...

 

Last edited Mon Jun 27, 2016, 08:43 AM - Edit history (1)

That racial and social justice are inextricably linked with economic justice?

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Response to tk2kewl (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 27, 2016, 12:01 PM

10. Exactly. eom

 

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 27, 2016, 12:00 PM

9. Our predicted POTUS has said that univ health care is pie in the sky.

 

As much as I support it, I don't see the US going for UHC anytime soon.


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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Jun 27, 2016, 07:35 AM

6. This is the kind of article we are used to.

http://www.businessinsider.com/huge-racial-gap-in-life-expectancy-2014-1
It's from 2014, but it's just MOTS (more of the same).

Life expectancy in that article for black men/women (combined) was 75. For white men/women it was higher. It points out the usual numbers.

Another source:
http://kff.org/other/state-indicator/life-expectancy-by-re/
Average life expectancy (as opposed to expectation of life) in 2009
whites 78.9
Af-Am 74.6

That's a 4.3 year gap. Of course, break it down by sex, SES, age, geography and all kinds of strange correlations pop out. Look at cause of death and equalize factors not directly attributable to poor diet and health care (things like homicide rate) and you can narrow the gap a bit.

Still, those are the numbers from the article, right? The only explanation is that poverty and access to health is the reason for the life expectancy discrepancy.

Here's what we don't include in our thinking because (a) we're not told, and critical thinking is hard and (b) we don't want to know, and critical thinking is hard.

Latino 82.8
As-Am 86.5
Nat-Am 76.9

We can only assume that Latino's are much more wealthy than whites, and that Native Americans have better health care access and lower poverty levels than African-Americans. Heck, some groups of Native Americans must have better health care than white men in general.

The Latino life expectancy rate has puzzled a lot of specialists and gets brought up separately as an issue. This isn't just life expectancy for men and women. Infant mortality is lower. That may account for a large portion of the numbers, but still not for all of them. Even in the horribly discriminatory, racist US, where Latinos aren't really at the top of the social hierarchy, their stats beat whites by nearly 3 years and Af-Am by 8.2 years.

One has to wonder what, exactly, the US is doing that's so great for contributing Latino health, and why it's being denied to such a great extent to its Af-Am population and even being withheld to a fairly large extent from the white population.

You can't just compare a couple of numbers and draw anything like a useful conclusion. Perhaps useful framing, useful rhetoric, useful propaganda. But it's easy to take the same kinds of reasoning and turn that rhetoric on its head. Good policy--not "correct policy", mind you--depends on understanding, and understanding is served not by rhetoric that relies crucially on partial knowledge but on the fullest knowledge we can get. "Correct policy" typically requires partial knowledge because it's goals are ultimately not so much good policy as the correct distribution of power and control. Good policy is vaguely utilitarian in nature, and prescribes the maximum benefit to the most people without unduly oppressing anybody and is much harder to come by.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Jun 27, 2016, 01:12 PM

11. So the correlation between money and public health is low.

In Cuba, we see good public health with very little money.

And we see the other side of that in the USA, where lots of money does not lead to good public health.

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