US life expectancy has fallen to the lowest level seen since 1996, continuing a steep decline largely driven by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Government data showed life expectancy at birth now stands at 76.1 compared to 79 in 2019. That is the steepest two-year decline in a century.
Covid-19 was the main contributing factor, according to US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention data.
Life expectancy of Native Americans and Alaska Natives fell by two years.
According to the provisional data, life expectancy fell by 2.7 years between 2019 and 2021.
The statistics show that Covid-19 accounted for 50% of the decline between 2020 and 2021. Between 2019 and 2020, the pandemic contributed to 74% of the decline.
COVID is the main cause but some of the declines in life expectancy in the United States could very well be attributed to the U.S. being the only wealthy country without universal healthcare. We had been kind of stagnant on life expectancy for a few years and then the pandemic led to the dramatic fall.
Norm over at Ed Notes specifically blames no Medicare for All for part of the cause of the decline. He also does a deep dive into how Medicare Advantage (privatized Medicare for seniors) is enriching insurance companies while shortchanging patients.
City municipal worker retirees successfully fought off privatizing Medicare for New York City retired municipal workers. We said no to Mulgrewcare (Medicare Advantage Plus) but the battle is not nearly over.
We must resist any healthcare givebacks in this round of collective bargaining for active workers and retirees.