London (ANP) – The policies of former President Donald Trump and his predecessors have badly transformed America’s public health. This is the conclusion of a panel of dozens of international experts advocating far-reaching reforms in the medical journal The Lancet.
The commission says health policy has gone in the wrong direction for decades. If death rates in the United States were similar to those in other G7 countries, the number of Americans killed would have been 461,000 fewer in 2018, according to the researchers. The number of deaths from the Coronavirus has also decreased by 40% in 2020.
According to the researchers, the problems arose in the 1980s during the reign of President Ronald Reagan, who focused on a smaller government. His ideology would also have influenced the politics of subsequent Republican and Democratic presidents. Trump’s actions, such as tax cuts and deregulation, are cited as examples of Reagan-style policies.
The Commission says the ongoing budget cuts have left the United States at risk during the pandemic. Health service budgets have been cut, and between 2008 and 2016, 50,000 primary health care workers have lost jobs. The medical system is described as fragmented and focused on profit making.
Inequality in society can also lead to loss of life. About 11 percent of Americans are said to deal with food insecurity. The risk of this category increases with excess weight and diabetes, which increases the risk of death from corona infection, according to the committee. It is comprised of 33 experts from the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.
Former President Trump has also come under fire. Experts are linking 22,000 deaths in 2019 to his government’s elimination of environmental measures. They also say Trump’s actions have left an additional 2.3 million Americans without health insurance, in addition to the nearly 28 million Americans who were already uninsured.
The commission calls for a package of measures. They want to cancel the tax cuts from 2017 for the wealthy and corporate America, among other things. They also demand cuts in defense spending and ambitious measures to avoid a “climate catastrophe”. Additionally, an overhaul of Medicare must be done so that everyone is insured.
“The health of Americans was deteriorating while our economy was running tremendously,” said one of the committee chairs, Doctor Stevie Wollhandler. “While things prospered for the rich, most Americans lost financially and medically.”