Cuba vs California
WORKERS, FEB 2008 ISSUE
As California's health care collapses, Cuba announces new health advances.
The latest Healthcare Bill passed by the California Assembly has been severely criticised by the California Nurses Association on the following grounds:
- Insurance companies can continue to deny medical care they brand as not medically necessary or experimental, deny access to specialists, and deny tests – even when those care options or treatments are recommended by a physician.
- Insurance companies can continue to charge whatever they want. The bill has no limits on escalating premiums, deductibles, or other rising costs.
- Individuals are still forced to buy insurance without guarantees of what they are buying or whether they can afford it.
- The bill fails to include provision for employer contributions.
Compare this situation in the richest state in the USA, with the 5th or 6th biggest economy in the world, with the island of Cuba, some 50 miles from the US state of Florida.
For the second consecutive year, Cuba has achieved an infant mortality rate of 5.3 for every 1,000 live births: the lowest in the country's history. Together with Canada, Cuba has attained a lower figure than those registered by other countries in the Americas, in a genuine expression of the most fundamental of human rights. The global infant mortality rate is 52 per 1,000 live births. In Latin America it averages 26 per 1,000.
As experts acknowledge, the true measure of a nation's progress is the quality of care provided for its children, their health and protection, material safety, their education and social care. The infant mortality rate is a key indicator of those advances.