The July 1 Examiner editorial, “Want worse health care? Try British model,” has its facts wrong. “Americans lead longer, healthier lives than the Brits” is not correct. The life expectancy in the United Kingdom is 79.4 years; in the USA it is 78.2 years.
Citizens in every country in Western Europe except Portugal live longer than Americans. So do Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians, all of whom have health care systems similar to the British. The USA is No. 38 in life expectancy, the U.K. is No. 22. Canada is No. 11 with a life expectancy of 80.7 years. I doubt if many of the citizens of the U.K. or Canada would choose the American system over their own.
David R. Dawdy, San Francisco
Funding for research
Every year, thousands of sick people leave countries that possess the “global treasure” of universal health care to seek treatment in the U.S. Last year 39,282 came from Canada, where their Supreme Court has ruled: “Access to a waiting list is not health care.” Single-payer nations openly report less MRI and CT scanners, fewer beds per capita and longer waits for diagnosis and treatment.
Great Britain and all other European Union nations invest only 16 percent of the world’s biotech research funding. The U.S. invests (risks) 78 percent of funding for new drugs and technologies that save millions of lives worldwide, including those with the global treasure.
Mike DeNunzio, San Francisco
Muni has a civic duty
Like many of your readers, I don’t own a car and rely on public transportation to get around. This healthier, cheaper and more environmentally conscious lifestyle is unnecessarily hindered by Muni’s inefficiencies.
Passenger cars account for 40 percent of oil use in the United States. Dependable, affordable public transportation could take single-occupancy vehicles off the road, decreasing our oil consumption and thus lessening the likelihood of more oil spills.
I’d like to continue living a car-free lifestyle, but Muni is being held back by its own dysfunctional labor/management culture. Backing the Fix Muni Now campaign will help keep public transportation a possibility for people like me who reject personal cars.
Let’s give San Francisco the world-class public transit system it deserves.
Madeline Barker, San Francisco
Stay firm on dog laws
Each time someone in San Francisco is severely bitten by a dog, it receives media coverage. Enforcement of the leash laws gets short-term lip service and bogus promises of increased patrols. Yet on a daily basis people tolerate things like “little nips to their ankles” or being toppled over by loose dogs that go unheeded.
We experience all manner of bad dog-owner behavior, including dogs in grocery carts, forcing us to bite our lip and say nothing, or ask for compliance and get cursed out. Small or large, scary-looking or cute as pie, off-leash dogs compromise a simple walk through the park or a jog to the post office. Why do we have to wait until someone gets really hurt to get enforcement of good laws?
Andrea O’Leary, San Francisco