The U.S. is 28th in life expectancy. What's killing America?
November 29th, 2011
03:35 PM ET

The U.S. is 28th in life expectancy. What's killing America?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

What's wrong with this picture?

The United States ranks 28th in life expectancy, yet we pay more for health care than any other country in the industrialized world.

The 34-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is out with a stunning report.

It shows 27 nations live longer than we do - led by Japan. Yet Americans pay nearly $8,000 per person for health care each year. More than any other country in the report.

Only a handful of countries in this report have a lower life expectancy. They include Mexico, Estonia and Turkey.

Meanwhile, despite sky-high spending on health care in the U.S., Americans actually receive less care than other nations.

Our primary care system suffers from shortages of family doctors along with high rates of avoidable hospital admissions for common illnesses like asthma, diabetes or high blood pressure.

America also leads all nations when it comes to expensive medical procedures like knee replacements, MRIs and CT scans.

As for pharmaceuticals, they cost about 60% more in the U.S. than in most European countries.

There are some positives for the U.S. health care system here: We have among the world's highest survival rates for breast and colorectal cancer. Also, Americans generally receive good acute hospital care.

But overall there's no doubt our health care system is broken. And that along with questionable lifestyle choices means we're not living as long as we could.

Here’s my question to you: The U.S. is 28th in life expectancy. What’s killing America?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

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Filed under: Longevity • On Jack's radar • United States
soundoff (285 Responses)
  1. Larry -Denver

    What is and has been killling America is first and foremost our politicians. Secondly we live in a time of "whats in it for me", gimmee"! We have lost the edge of creating, and living a cleaner life. Between child molestation, our protection of big ,wealthy institutions and our turn away from the truth, its a slow death. IS there any real truth out there?

    November 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
  2. Phil W

    What is killing America? The disappearance of individual responsibility and lack of morality. The first creates an entitlement mentality and the second allows for the metastasis of a corrupt society and therefore government. We must overturn the USA PATRIOT Act and ruthlessly cut back the Fed govt to it's Constitutional limits. Ron Paul has it right. No one else has a clue.

    November 28, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  3. Aria (Portland, OR)

    What's killing America is the GOP and the dimwits who vote for them. Corporate greed and don't forget the Pharmaceuticals. Who could forget Fox News, killing people's brains.

    November 28, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  4. Phil in Grays Harbor, WA

    European-style Socialism and class warfare by the Democrats.

    November 28, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
  5. Kevin SD CA

    White collar corruption is killing America! You want the economy to move; then Banks need to be foreclosing on mortgages as fast as they wrote them in the first place! Whether it is Government Officials, Government Unions, Government Agencies, Government Schools, Government Department of Corrections, Government Oversight, Family Law; it all has stood by and collected a wage and pension without any accountability for statistics related to responsibility; while working with Corporate Welfare to rob the private citizen of his individual rights and responsibilities. All this adds up to the constipation of the free market. Why isn’t the government behind foreclosing on all the bad mortgages that it was so happy to have expedited? Why are the public schools complete failures? Why are any of these failing institutions being paid at all!

    November 28, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  6. Carl


    A very easy question toady, in one word, Politicians!!!

    November 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  7. Elinor Bowles

    Hypocrisy, Lies, and greed.

    November 28, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
  8. Ed from Harrisburg

    Finally, Jack a great question and hopefully you'll get a lot of agreement. What's killing America is the "win as much as you can at any price" mentality which has supplanted the "one Nation under G-d, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All." We have never been more divided between the "have everythings" to the "wanna have everythings" to the bearly having anything" to the have nothings" and it is creating a cannabalistic feeding frenzy where we or wants become needs and to attain our wants anything goes. We have abandoned modesty and moderation for extremism whether it be in politics, sports, entertainment or economics. The extremes rule globally and people just trying to stay in the middle are being forced to choose sides or get hurt. This is what is killing America...and the world.

    November 28, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
  9. Olga Pina


    November 28, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
  10. Peggy Topham

    Greed, just plain greed from those incredibly rich folks who play one-upmanship with other. I'm richer than you are, take that.

    November 28, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  11. Barry from Toronto

    Its actually quite simple "Republican Conservatism". Its so obvious to we Canadians that these guys are willing to destroy their own country in order to satisfy their racist agenda against Obama.

    November 28, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  12. O. Gonzalez

    The greed of big corporations who make products in China, and buy politicians for doing tax cuts for they,later they sale all that stuff in the black tricked days . Is that simple

    November 28, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  13. Ken Victoria BC

    The greed of the one percent.

    November 28, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  14. Richard

    Albany, NY
    Congressmen and Senators, that are forced to raise millions of dollars to run and keep office, which leads to unbalanced Corporate influence on the political system, which leads to the inability to get a consensus to solve ANY problem, which leads to economic and social stagnation.....eventually, this will be fatal if we don't fix it.

    November 28, 2011 at 1:22 pm |

    The "T" party and the GOP being in bed with big buisness and big banking.The growth of the union movement afte the 2nd world war started an increass in the middle class. However members began to get as greedy as big money was.
    in stead of compramise and fair shairing each began fighting for the top spot.
    The thing is, it has to be a simbeotice relation ship. Buisness needs workers and buyers. workers need buisness to provide work, pay and a product.
    Killing unions by buisness and killing buisness by union members will never work. MEETTALWORKER in IL

    November 28, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  16. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    The famed 20th century psychiatrist M. Scott Peck defined self discipline using four tenants.
    1. Delaying gratification
    2. Accepting responsibility for self
    3. Telling the absolute truth and being dedicated to reality
    4. Bracketing ego needs for the sake of spiritual growth

    As a society this used to be us until we allowed absolute ideology to become our belief. And that belief has created an age of instant gratification, blame, half truths and fantasy based on lies, and a rush to fulfill our own egos instead of helping one another, we have murdered virtue and are indeed killing America through our lack of self discipline..

    November 28, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  17. Annie, Atlanta

    Bank and corporations owning most of our politicians. The system is gamed to just keep giving them more of our tax dollars. When they're done with our remains, they'll just move on. We're barely needed now, and soon will not be needed at all. Campaign finance reform, Glass Steagall, and breaking up the too big to fail banks would have helped, but it's too late now. All the while corporate owned media directs our attention to polarization, demonizing the only movement out there trying to make us aware of our plight, or fluff pieces. Oh look at the shiny objects – and we do! Hate thy neighbor as thyself, and we do! We're in trouble, and most of us don't have a clue.

    November 28, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  18. Greg in Arkansas

    My first thought was that it is greed that's killing America....but after careful consideration, I think it is our 24/7 news coverage, complete with "opinions" of the news.
    In the days of Huntley, Brinkley and Cronkite, we were given "just the facts".
    Today, the "facts" are spun with opinions to boost ratings and generate revenue for the "news" shows and as we all know, bad news sells better....
    Americans have become news hypochondriacs that refuse to believe anything but the gloom and doom opinions of the spin doctors they agree with while they ignore all facts that might contradict their beliefs.
    Unless we change our attitude and remember our motto of "United We Stand", the only thing left to write about America is its eulogy.....DIVIDED, IT FELL.......

    November 28, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  19. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Jack,we have been over this before,same old song.What is killing America is lame leadership on both sides.30 years of congress throwing away the people's money,serving themselves always first,bringing down Freddy and Fannie,stealing all the money in the trust fund and it goes on and on Jack.Its simply absolutely wreckless leadership for 30 years by congress and here we are sitting in a huge mess that the people had nothing to do with,but suffer for.

    November 28, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  20. Ed from MD

    Money is killing America. The more we've got the worse it gets. Nowadays we've got so much money there's a tax or fee or regulation for just about everything trying to get it back.

    November 28, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  21. Pete from Georgia

    Thank you for the question Jack.
    The answer I give will demonsrate the truth of it by most folks response to it.
    What's killing America is that she's looking for love......................and answers to her problems, in all the wrong places.
    She's turned her back on God for those answers. Now, as most smugly sneer at this response to your question, step back and ask the question again, and think for a moment how foolishly we have all been chasing rainbows down dead end streets when all along our God is here waiting for that stubborn pride to dissipate, ready to help put us back on our feet. But first we must respectfully ask.

    November 28, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  22. Bryan Hurley

    One simple answer, our growing separation to the Constitution. Day by day, law by law we slip away from the words of our founders which set our country apart from any great nation in history. Failed monetary policies, failed foreign policies, and a failing government can be linked to our dismissal of the Constitution. It's time to "Legalize the Constitution".

    November 28, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  23. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Inequality, as supported by low dividend and capital gains tax rates that encourage businesses to cut wages and health benefits with the owners and CEOs pocketing the savings. All the toxic politics is designed in furtherance of keeping those benefits in place (from abortion to marriage to immigration) – anything to keep the masses on the right riled up so that they don't know they are being taken advantage of.

    November 28, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  24. Ivan, Marion,Ohio

    The congress not knowing how or wanting to compromise,for the good of the country,and the teaparty (repubs.) don't give a dem if the country is in a slow death by the hands of its own congress.

    November 28, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  25. bonnie from NJ

    Greed. You cannot have the country we once had without a thriving middle class and our politicians on either side of the coin have let the 1% (of course most of them are members of it), take everything from us that makes us a thriving middle class. The upper class and politicians have no love of country only money.

    November 28, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  26. Noe

    Msnbc and Fox News... Watching either of the two will make you think Freddy Krueger, Jason and Michael Meyers are all coming after you causing you to jump out of a window...

    November 28, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  27. James in Springfield, VA

    Severe discipline issues from the top all the way to the bottom. We have worthless politicians who do not care about any of us and don't not care if this country crumbles because they live on cloud nine. And citizens who like to complain but do not go the distance to correct the matter. It is all basically all bark and no bite. I actually have to say that before things get better there is going to have to be a complete break down of everything for all to realize how severe of a world we live in today.

    November 28, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  28. Floyd - Crescent City, CA

    Its our greedy Capitalistic health care system. Other countries that have socialized medicine allow people to get care without becoming bankrupt. Its like having our greedy bankers in charge of your health. They get rich, ypu die.

    November 28, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  29. s in fl

    Greed, Jack. Pure and simple.

    November 28, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  30. Jk from Minnesota

    It's a combination of Americans having a more sedimentary life style, not desiring to exercise and a porr diet selection with a load of work & family stress added in to measure. I find it interesting how much opposition to the First Lady's eat healthier campaign came from the likes of Rush Limbaugh and the right leaning part of the country. Just looking at him and one doesn't have to wonder why America is 28th. Not a good role model, America!

    November 28, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  31. JD in NH

    What's killing America? That's easy – a for-profit healthcare system. Even people who can afford health insurance put off getting care because of high deductibles and co-pays. We don't do so well on infant mortality or longevity, either. Thanks, once again, to an industry that puts profit above everything else.

    November 28, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  32. Kenneth in California

    You can start with gluttony. The United States probubly has the ugliest fat torsos in the world, contributing to an epidemic of life shortening diseases. Chemicals in our homes and in our environment, probably is another cause. Those who poo-poo that notion, the ones that dollar profit from our excesses, will also go puff early in life.

    November 28, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  33. Richard Texas

    Well one major cause is the use of Tobacco among Americans is higher then most other countries. The United States has a higher rate of lung cancer and respiratory diseases, diabetics, stroke victims and mental disorders just to name a few. Americans are less physically active and eat fewer vegetables and fruits. Fatty and fried foods are everyday staples for most people. With thee factors it is only logical that their mortality rate would be higher then other countries. All these needless wars isn't helping either.

    November 28, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  34. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    It depends on how you count EU members. If you consolidate the EU into one entity, we rank a bit higher. Either consider the EU as a single country or each US state as individuals so we can see how they rank in the larger scheme of things. I bet Iowa does much better than Mississippi.

    November 28, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  35. Lori - PA


    Of the things the medical news corespondents talk about, Obesity, Heart Disease, and Cancer, the biggest problem Americans face is a bad health care system. Too many people can't get the help they need because they can't afford to pay for either a visit to the doctor, medicine, or health care insurance. It's a shame because the United States can manage to find the money to help other countries, but they can't find the money to help their own. Sad. Sad. Sad.

    November 28, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  36. Noel Sivetrson New mexico

    A healthcare and insurance industry that looks at each patient as a profit center first, as a patient second. The congressional-healthcare, pharmaceutica and, insurance company industrial complex. K-Street lobbyists. These are powerful force that prevent the United States from joining the civilized world of universal health care for everyone.

    In short pure, simple, greed.

    November 28, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  37. Rick McDaniel

    if you have to ask......you haven't been looking at people.


    November 28, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  38. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York


    Lobbyists, special interest money, and Congressional greed. Just look to our newest greatest American vegetable: the pizza.

    November 28, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  39. Kim , Dodge City, Kansas

    Americans are killing America. We live on junk food and caffeine, so why would we expect anything but the worst? I'm just surprised we finished that high up on the list. Add to that the pressure of a pending 2nd Great Depression, and it's a wonder we survive at all.

    November 28, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  40. Jan K. in Asotin,Wa.

    Food, drink, and lack of affordable health care. A lot of the most affordable food is loaded with carbs and sugars. A large share of shopping carts leaving stores have cases of beer, soda and chips in them. The store mailers have far better sales on these items than on fresh vegetables and fruits.

    November 28, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  41. Jim, Denver CO


    Greed. This is greed by the Food Market Industry & manufacturers, greed by the Drug companies, greed by the Insurance companies, and greed by our politicians who don't do anything but serve the aforementioned.

    November 28, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  42. Little Feather

    Jack, GREED...& IGNORANCE...knowin' something is wrong & not doing anything about...I could go on & on but won't bekuase Jack U already no..Thank-U Mr.Cafferty for fineli gettin' to us...99%......from...Ohio...

    November 28, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  43. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    Greed...We seem to value wealth over health....

    November 28, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  44. Tom, Switzerland

    That depends on whom you ask. If you are a black male between the ages of 15-35, the number one cause of death is bullet wounds. In our nation's capitol D.C. such men are 9 times as likely to die of gunshot wounds than auto accidents. The ever growing proportion poor people in America, many of whom have no health insurance, are increasingly dying of obesity and its complications. The bottom line is that the inequality in America, which is getting worse, is not only tearing apart the fabric of society, it is at the heart of our low life expectancy and poor health care results relative to vast amounts of money we spend.

    November 28, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  45. Mel - Houston

    That is dispicable in the utopian America. If we had a privatized Metacare and Metacaid the life expectancy would certainly increase wouldn't it?

    November 28, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  46. Terry


    isn't it funny.... we now are starting to cerebrate the birth of Jesus. While Mary and Joseph was on their way to pay taxes to the to the 1% of that time.
    the occupiers Joseph and Mary camped in a barn... no room.. for the homeless.. no room for the poor.. no room... woe to the rich..

    And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

    Same plan then as now.. Rule the world...

    November 28, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  47. Loren

    Freedom to be stupid. America has become beholden to convenience and with convenience comes short-cuts. Rather than a healthy home-cooked meal of fresh ingredients, we choose fast food full of carbohydrates and fat. Even eating at home, we choose convenience in the form of prepackaged slop. Being guilty of that myself, I see my waistline expanding despite my efforts to fight it. Oh, well, every good thing has a downside.

    November 28, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  48. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    Many things are killing America. Not having a single payer national health care plan doesn't only cost us twice as much as any other nation, but it delivers health care ranked 37th by the World Health Organization. We're after Costa Rica.

    Pollution from Mid-west power plants carries heart disease and respiratory illnesses all the way to Bar Harbor on the Atlantic.

    Poverty correlates with premature death. The stress of unemployment causes a lot more deaths than its suicides. Obama's home state's easy going island culture has Hawaiians living longest you'll notice.

    November 28, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  49. Paul From Austin Texas

    In America we have the hardest working work force better than most if not all nations. What's killing America is the lack of time off work. We here in the U.S. have the least vacation time than any of the developed countries. It's the stress that is killing us because of the lack of time we take for ourseleves.

    November 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  50. Ken Brahmer

    From Ken in Highlands, NC. Greed is killing America! Greed rules in commerce, politics and banking. The system encourages greed as an essential ingredient in the "American Dream" for more, more, more.

    November 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  51. Gina Villalobos

    Hands down, the amount of money in American political campaigns is killing America.. The fact that our politicians are bought and sold is killing America. Fix this problem and we will have a prosperous America, once again.

    November 28, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  52. Gordon NJ

    Overeating, TV, corporate greed, and a medical industry that caters first to patients with money, second to patients with good benefits, and third...well the funeral industry takes care of them.

    November 28, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  53. Marcus

    Capitalism is killing is us, they give Us cloned fatty foods and then charge us a lot of money on foods they tell us are healthy, kids are getting diabetes at record numbers all in the name of free markets

    November 28, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  54. Brian From Fountain, Co

    What’s killing America is Capitalist greed with bad economic times, and lower wages that require a higher level of education. Also Capitalism should be look at for involuntary man slater to its citizens. In addition, everything has a cause an effect.

    November 28, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  55. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    The lack of hard work or a decent job, plus the fact that most families have both parents working to keep up with the Jone's. We recently lost our part time job because the Department of Labor doesn't think we're being paid fairly. We were working at home, paying taxes and felt good about it. Now, we have way too much free time to sit and eat, shame on us. We want to work.

    November 28, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  56. terence

    Jack, Hi taxes, high national debt , and no jobs for us to pay them off is the cause. Did i forget crooked politicians??? This is just a short list of the many reasons our lives are shorter now.
    Terence NJ

    November 28, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  57. diridi

    GOP's Health Care plan. Lack of ethics, Morality, Standard.

    November 28, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  58. Marianne

    Perhaps the number of homicides in this country contributes to this situation.

    November 28, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  59. Ted

    Our lifestyles and the combination of this with stress. In a country that pushes anything less than number one is a failure brings about a hopelessness that is only exacerbated by an economic and political environment that only can focus on more of the same. We are no longer a happy nation of hope and beliefs that are inline with our faith, God, we are becoming a nation of anger on multiple levels of the religious and secular worlds.

    New Mexico

    November 28, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  60. Sandy

    Jack, as long as we, as Americans, keep deluding ourselves that we're number one, that we're the best nation on this earth, we will continue to experience these same problems. The truth of the matter is, we're no longer number one. We're not even in the top ten- not in life expectancy, not in education. We are not the number one best place to do business. We do not have the best standard of living. Our infrastructure is a joke. If we were really serious about the future of this country we would get over our arrogance and learn some humility. The problems we face today have already been solved in other countries. We need to get over ourselves and look to Finland, to Singapore, to Hong Kong, to Canada, etc. to see what we should be doing in this country.

    Atlanta, GA

    November 28, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  61. Paulette Bent

    Very simple Jack. Fast food and no exercise.

    November 28, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  62. Jane in CA

    You're joking, right Jack? Lack of a health care system for all Americans is what is quite literally killing Americans. When poor people don't have the money to see good doctors regularly, they get sick and frequently die far sooner than their richer counterparts who do have good access to medical care. Just look at the disparate life expectancy of the rich and poor in this country and it is easy to see what is bringing down our average. Cutting back on government medical aid for the poor just accelerates the decline.

    November 28, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  63. Gary H. Boyd

    Diet and exercise Jack - simple as that. We eat the wrong things and don't exercise. We've become a fat, slovenly bunch who smoke, drink, use drugs, and generally abuse life with dumb habits. We have become our own worst enemy as pertains a long life.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    November 28, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  64. Jay

    Easy one…putting ‘profits’ above the well being of fellow citizens. Every other decent country on Earth has figured out that health care is not the moral place to try to make a buck. Selfish Greed is what is killing America.

    November 28, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  65. Mark from New Jersey

    It could be so many things, Jack! It could be the high fructose corn syrup that is apparently in everything. It could be the chemicals that are used in hydraulic fracturing that has evidently been going on in many places effecting the water supplies. But its probably stress from livng with a political system that has all the intelligence,logic and true democracyf the Middle Ages.

    November 28, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  66. Bill from Baltimore

    Jack...These reason for the poor performance is based around another two issues...Health Insurance in the hands of the for profit sector when it should be a Universal Right of Citizenship. No one has ever been able to tell me how the "profit motive" helps to lesson the costs of administering health care expense versus a single payor plan like Medicare. The other issue is Income Disparity. The growing income disparity is the root cause of the problems that lead to poor longevity...These things won't fix themselves...We need to return to Progressive Policies that dominated the 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's and roll back those Conservative Policies of the 80's, 90, 20's and today.

    November 28, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  67. Ken - Kingsport, TN

    Jack, I would humbly request that you ask the right question? I would like to see the stats broken down and compared to the rest of the world with the top 1%, top 10 %, 51-89%, and bottom 50%. I suspect that you miight really get an eye-opener. There IS a difference in those percentages. If America really wanted to fix the healthcare system, one only need make everything to do with healthcare into a non-profit. Doctors get paid, nurses get paid, and hospitals get paid. Obamacare is just another present our fine elected leaders have made to their masters represented through K-Street, which in this case was Big Insurance/Pharma. I still remember a professor welcoming me to 'the Great Experiment' called the United States in a US HISTORY elective class. I was too young to understand what he meant but have come to realize that the great experiment is dying right before our very eyes. Greed, from K-Street to bought Legislators to Penn State University, has destroyed this country.

    November 28, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  68. Barbara Leavitt

    Probably all the chemicals in our food that most of us are not aware of. For starters. Then we have all the doctors with their hand on the door knob when you go in.
    Henderson Nevada

    November 28, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  69. Paul P.

    Without looking at the document the two main culprits for Americans I suspect remain the same. Bad diets and related obesity and a system of healthcare that discourages so many of its own citizens from seeking out treatment at earlier stages, usually for financial reasons. I am sure there are many other factors involved, but those two likely remain the most toxic pair.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  70. Bill of New Mexico

    The highest priced product is not always the best!

    The reasons for America's low rating:

    So many Americans are overweight.

    Lack of exercise.

    Fast food, and too much food.

    Cigarettes and alcohol.

    A third rate medical system.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  71. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Burger King, McDonalds, Wendy's and all the other fat fast foods

    November 28, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  72. Dennis north carolina

    republicans and big business are killing us and the country. Money can not buy long life or good health. we need clean water, clean air and clean ground to grow our food. pollution of the air ,ground and water with chemicals are causing changes in the human body cells causing shorter lives some examples are all forms of cancer, heart diseases and many other diseases. Soon we will need another planet to live on to grow old.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  73. Bert from L.A.

    Hi Jack, The reason Americans die sooner and pay so much in health care is related to the unhealthy and deadly junk we eat. That is related to the last 30 years of corporate deregulation which is also related to our sick economy. The cure to both problems is Ariticle 1, Section 8, of the Constirtution; tax and regulate the global corporations which are killing our economy and us!

    November 28, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  74. Frank from Connellsville, PA

    We spend billions to bring pre-mature babies into the world, and billions more to sustain last breaths, and the rest of the time bellying up for double cheeseburgers with extra bacon, super-sized fries, and milk shake. Combine that with most people's only exercise is walking from the front door to the car. I'm surprised there are still people healthly enough to bury the others.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  75. Ed Reed

    Lack of health insurance, which results in lack of health care.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  76. Paul - North Carolina

    What's killing America could be our diet, lack of physical activity, exposure to environmental hazards or any number of similar causes. But when 48 million people don't have access to AFFORDABLE health care I suspect that might be a factor. Add in the fact that more and more Americans are falling below the poverty line and it becomes much easier to understand. Those at the lower end of the economic scale have poor diets, forego a doctor's care for treatable illnesses, can't afford the drugs required to treat chronic problems and usually end up in emergency rooms when their conditions become acute. If I remeber correctly we passed a law a while back to address most of those issues. Only it seems a certain ideological faction in this country wants to repeal it. The same good hearted individuals want to increase the tax burden on the ones who can least afford it. What's killing America? Republicans!

    November 28, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  77. Cy Gardner

    Freestyle, laissez faire, catch as catch can, survival of the fittest capitalism. Health care is a commodity that insurance companies can increase profits on by letting people die. The market drives the prices up and people who can't afford it get driven out of the market. Smaller governement means the richest companies set policies for everything that effects us and they only care about making more money this quarter than they did last quarter. Your survey proves the citizens in at least 27 countries are smarter than Americans. cy from arlington, va

    November 28, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  78. Manuela

    Start with high fat diet and follow it with no health insurance.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  79. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    Our Medical System is based on making money. Being successful is base on how much money you make not how many lives you save. That is why drugs cost more and hospitals are expensive. Greed has taken over our Healthcare System just like everything else. We have over fifty million people without Health Care. God only knows how many more does not have good health insurance coverage. In order to live longer in the United States you have to have money.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  80. Tom (Atlanta)

    It's a Hamburgers Jack. Those things are killing us, 1/4, 1/2 pounds of artery clogging delight. And, what are we doing about it? We're watching football on TV and drinking beer. It's the American way. Do we exercise? And, should for our overweight, unhealthy selves? Oh, heavens no. We have Pharmaceutical companies who make those cool little pills. We talk the talk Jack, but we don't walk the talk. I think I need a nap ... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    November 28, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  81. Chris, Ottawa Canada

    There's no secret here. Americans eat way too much junk food and don't get nearly enough excercise. Think of that before you start munching all the fattening Christmas goodies.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  82. Dan in Albuquerque

    Bad diets, people too poor to eat well or right, lack of exercise, stress, etc. The results of a privileged country compared to most of the world. We have been combatting those ills in the past few years, but we have a long way to go. The next few generations may not be so privileged.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  83. Dale N.M.

    Hello Jack
    What’s killing Americans the answer to this is very simple, too much GREED baked into our Medical Services.
    There will never be a shortage of sick people willing to pay for their medical services and they know that, the ones who cannot afford ” their best cutting-edge services ” they die.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  84. Rob in NC

    Part of the problem is the cost. Many Americans can not afford to be "sick". Mr. Obama's health care plan is going to help pay for it either. It is just going to require people to pay for insurance they can't afford, it won't cover anything, and you'll go in debt paying off the deductible.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  85. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Just because we pay more doesn't mean we get more.
    We're falling down the ladder on health care, education, manufacturing, environmental consciousness, and a host of other measures, I sure hope that someday soon we'll get it and stop our childish bickering.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  86. Sandstone.

    "Poison is killing this world! Political-Poison is killing this world! As for the USA you're doing it to yourselves, by fighting poverty in the south in stead of moving those people further north; and out of arms way. """You're too big, Period!!!"

    November 28, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  87. Karl in Flint

    I'd say it's the health insurance industry and Republican Party greed. You didn't mention we are 11th in infant mortality and 10th in per capita expenditures per GDP. All the so called "socialist medicine" nations spend way less then we do and most have 100% of the population covered compared to our 40% covered.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  88. Peter, Tarrytown, N.Y.

    We DO NOT have a health care system. We have a for profit sickness management system.

    The amount and quality of my health care should not be decided by a corporations bottom line meaning shareholder dividends and executive bonuses.

    It should not be determined by how much I can afford in premiums.

    All of our elected officials have gold plated health care plans paid for with our tax dollars that they get to keep when the leave office paid for with our tax dollars.

    If it's good enough for them why isn't it good enough for me.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  89. dave in nashville

    Stress and depression, each fomented by the media and government.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  90. Sashu

    What's killing America? Poor meal choices, over eating, not enough exercise and stress.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  91. Sandstone.

    "Canada the largest country on the planet, yet 75% live where they can survive, and not where they can't."

    November 28, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  92. Rob in NC

    Somewhere along the way, Americans forgot what "hard work" really is. Today we teach our kids that the people who built this country through blood, sweat, and tears, were ignorant slobs that weren't smart enough to find work that wasn't labor intensive and that only a fool looks for a job that isn't found in an air conditioned office working on a computer. This outlook is why we are one of the "fattest" countries in the world. Rob in NC

    November 28, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  93. Jeff In Minnesota

    Can you say "glutony?" We are all guilty of eating too much, too often and eating too much of the wrong things. As a result, we drive our health care costs over the top because, as a society, we are overweight and under exercised. Obesity in Europe is less prevelant because people walk more and take time to eat their meals. Versus America's "go, go, go" attitude of jamming a high calorie meal in between meetings, conference calls, music lessons and soccer practice. As other societies adopt the American way of life, they are also seeing their societal obesity rates rise. We all need to stop and think about what we are doing to ourselves and our society by accepting bad habits.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  94. David Doherty

    It starts at a young age, things like congress deciding pizza counts as a vegetable toward school lunches. Gee who really thinks congress is watching out for us, a vegetable, really. Then there's the doctors, who are in the back pockets of big pharma and pushing every new drug they come up with, like, well like a pusher in a white coat. And then there's the FDA, we already know they don't check any where near all the food we eat, who OK's all the chemical products we use around the house like airfeshners, glade scented candles, all the stuff we live and breath with day in and day out. I swear you could sell asbestoses in a can if you made it smell good and put in a pretty can.
    Dave from NH.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  95. Ed in California

    So why do we need entitlement reform??? Sounds like our medical system is solving that problem all by itself!!! Although, I am glad that we beat Mexico, did we manage to beat Russia? Probably not!

    November 28, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  96. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    The GOP/Tea Party.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  97. Diane Sweet Home, OR

    Duncan Hines is killing us with its Double Fudge Brownie Bars. What do think! Sugar is killing us. Meat is clogging us up.

    Modern man is decadent. The US has become a nation of self-indulgent, undisciplined SLOBS. PIGS.

    Technology inho is killing us more than it is saving us. Technology, via pesticides & herbicides,GMOs etc. caused overpopulation and polluted us and the land. Overpopulation stress everything out. Automation did away with jobs, was labor saving so we no longer burned off calories and became strong of muscle and bone.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  98. Name*Paul of Dayton, OH

    Jack, turns out life is killing all of us, some a little slower than others, but everyone dies just the same. Just because someone can put a statistic to it, doesn't make it significant or necessarily important. What we ought to be asking about is quality and significance of life. Are you enjoying life and are others better because you lived?

    November 28, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  99. Gigi Oregon

    It's not socialism since we are not socialists. It is elitism when our government feeds the rich, off the pay checks (taxes) of the middle class and neglects the poor and elderly. They have lowered taxes on the rich to nearly zero in some cases, bailed out the greedy banks and corporations, after corrupt and greedy practices. Bought and paid for with our tax monies, other countries friendship for power points. Turned their backs on corporate greed, insurance fraud, wars paid for by borrowing money from China and passing the debt on to President Obama. Many "we the people" have lost retirement investments or have had them shrink. Just to list a few things. Now we learn our representatives in government do insider trading legally (that most burn Martha Stewart), design district to gain votes etc. They get our vote with promises to work for "We the People", then write laws to protect themselves and come out millionaires. On some body else's dime. Who are they working for?...That pretty much kills the "American dream ", and life.

    Back to socialism the countries with the longest longevity are socialist countries. They take care of their country/people first, with their taxes. Google it.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  100. Randy

    Look at the correlation between when we had health care in this country to when it became the health care INDUSTRY and you will find your answer. Anytime something is taken out of the public sphere and turned over to private industry it cost more and you get less of it. The only thing that gets better is CEO portfolios and wall street stocks. They've screwed health care and now they've turned their attention to social security and public education.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  101. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    Excessive worrying. And now that you've informed me that I'm doomed to a premature death, the resultant anguish just significantly reduced my life expectancy. Thanks Jack.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  102. Andres Saenz(Tempe, AZ)

    The Italians invented pizza, pasta, spaghetti, etc. But when I visited Italy 2 and a half years ago, all of their people are so thin! Why? Because of the American food industry. Walk into any grocery store, and get any food item there. Read the ingredients list, and you need a chemistry degree to pronounce and understand what some of those ingredients are! Europeans don't have all those artificial chemicals in their food. Our lifestyle is a huge factor in this too. Look at how much time we spend in front of a computer, a TV, etc.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  103. david-seatle

    partof the problem is deregulated autos spewing toxic air right into our homes and right where we walk the kids on sidewalks.. part of ot is the Junk food that is given tax breaks for the non working shareholders.and most importantly ,we have the resources to get the herbs and fruits but our govt takes payoffs from oil and gas to keep us in 20th century side effectualmode..We cant get fresh air at the football and baseball stadium in seattle becuz china shipping gets port rate discounts to operate during gametime but we have to shutdown libraries early cuz property taxes were raided to cover debt offshore was to pay.We are doing it to ourselves and the govt is responsible for selling us out..

    November 28, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  104. Gail, Plano TX.

    Easy question, Jack! The Health care system in place is killing America! The exorbitant rates and denial of certain procedures to patients is killing us. The insurance companies are lining their pockets with our flesh & blood!

    November 28, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  105. Dan K.

    It is a real shame that the most technologicaly advanced country in the world can’t increase our life span to not place 28th in the world on life expectancy! Of course other countries do not coddle to drug companies and pharmaceutical companies like we do in the U.S.! Many countries have government or national health care and what’s good for the people is good for the government’s spending! Here in the U.S. if we solved diabetes, cancer, or heart disease etc our pharmaceuticals and drug companies would go broke and our representatives would not have billions of dollars in campaign donations to help them get re-elected. Can’t have that, can we!,

    Dan K. Owens Cross Roads, Alabama

    November 28, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  106. Roy Birdzell

    Very simple. Fastfood. For breakfast, for lunch, for dinner, and for snacks.Salt, calories, and lots of fat! No HealthCare system in the world will solve a lifestyle of those items.

    Roy, Jax Florida

    November 28, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  107. Ann from Charleston SC

    Obesity, lack of exercise, smoking, and health care costs that people keep people from getting preventive care are some of the culprits that are killing Americans.

    November 28, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  108. Annie, Atlanta

    Even though the question changed somewhat from the original post, my answer still stands. It's greed. Without greed, we could have a health care system like the rest of the world. When we're tied with Costa Rica as far as health care, and Uganda as far as wage disparity, it tells us loud and clear that Americans no longer matter to their politicians and the banks and corporations who own them.

    November 28, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  109. Big Ant from Maryland

    Well for starters we don't have a very progressive healthcare system that is aligned to early prevention.

    November 28, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  110. Valentine

    It's the cheese .

    November 28, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  111. Ray in Knoxville

    Too much, Jack. Too much to eat. Too much to drink. Too much work. Too much stress. We are a nation of over indulgence, and we pay for it in the end.

    November 28, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  112. Terry Wells -Hoosier Hillbilly-Greensburg,IN

    It was really suprising to so many say GREED!

    November 28, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  113. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    High fructose corn syrup and hamburger grease is my guess. But America also has a higher use of prescription medications than any other nation. Have you seen those side effects?

    November 28, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  114. Emmett Smith

    Dear Jack,
    Huey Long once said: "Nobody ever lost an election in this country by underestimating the intelligence of the American voter." He was probably correct. When the Reform Party offered meaningful changes in Washington, the electorate snubbed it. Now all that remains are the two big, corrupt, traditional parties. Reelecting either of them is like letting a fox guardard a hen house. That is what is killing this country.
    Emmett Smith
    Mobile, AL

    November 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  115. calaurore9


    November 28, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  116. perry jones

    The lack of expectations from our selves and the expectations of others to give

    November 28, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  117. Cy Gardner

    The fact that the suckers in the US pay so much more for drugs than everyone else says it all. The prostitutes on Capitol Hill put profits for their corporate overlords above human life. The shrink the government crowd has a hidden agenda. They don't want government off individual people's backs, they want a power vacuum that corporate America can fill up. We are being paid less and charged more because greedy corporate pirates like insurance and pharmaceutical company execs don't care about what happens to America. They can't see past the next quarter. cy from arlington, va

    November 28, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  118. richard a. winkler

    The love of money is the root of all evil. 1 Timothy 6-10

    Greed is killing America.

    November 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  119. marybeth, massachusetts


    What's killing America? Greed, stupidity, ignorance, glorification of the wealthy and celebrities, and lack of accountability, and add to that the ever-growing income and class disparities (which tie into who gets health care and who doesn't).

    We have people who are obese, who smoke and drink and otherwise do everything they can to self-destruct. We have a growing class of poor people who have no health insurance and therefore no access to health care. They'd take better care of themselves, but they can't afford the doctors' bills.

    We're the only industrialized country that doesn't provide health care for all of its citizens–that should tell you something. We worship money and don't care about people, unless they're wealthy. Our values are screwed up. I'd gladly pay more in taxes if I got health insurance and health care, university education, and other benefits like the Swedes and Danes. I'm paying taxes, and all I can see is that they go to bailing out banks and giving tax breaks to wealthy corporations. None of it trickles down to me or to others who are trying so hard to stay afloat.

    We're messed up because religion gets dragged into medical and scientific matters. Keep religion out of it.

    November 28, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  120. rex in portland, oregon

    Obamacare. That's what is killing all of us. It is Obama's fault. No doubt about it. Everything bad is Obama's fault.

    November 29, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  121. John from Alabama

    Jack: Americans are fat. Americans do not walk enough. We do not have regular doctor's exam. We either forget to take our maintenance medicines for high blood pressure and colestorol, which bring on strokes and heart attacks. Fresh food is better than canned food. Another words, Americans are their own worst enemies when it comes to life expectancy. Bad habits turn into early death.

    November 29, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  122. jen - seattle

    Toxic side effectual drugs, oil and gas threats to water air soil, bogus manipulation of food supply by psuedo scientists thinking they are god, and 2 party politricks unsustainable to advancement ..Oh, and deregulated consumption malfunction autos that spew leukimia poison exhaust every where we live and breath...and the amount of alchohol, most of which should be prohibited if Malt Liqour or Fortified Wine

    November 29, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  123. Dave - Phx

    Quite simply, the 1% is killing Americans. If they have 95 cents and you have a nickle, they will stop at nothing to get your nickle. Bleeding our country dry while they hoard everything will be our downfall. Unlike the Romans, I don't think Americans will let it get that far. OWS is in its infancy. If things continue as they are imagine the revolution 10 years from now.

    November 29, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  124. Dave, Orlando, FL

    What is killing Americans is the crap we are forced to eat, the water we have to drink and the air we have to breathe. All processed foods are nutritionally worthless because they have processed out any good stuff in them and then enhanced the flavors so that we want more. If you try to find real food, your choices are meat full of hormones, fish that were farmed, and that means under disgusting conditions, and vegetables that are laced with pesticides. Then most of those “natural” or “real” foods are really frankenfood. And who knows what effect that will have on out bodies in the years to come. If that isn’t enough, our water and air are polluted with cancer causing chemicals over which the FDA and EPA seem powerless to correct. Gee, I wonder how all that happened.

    November 29, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  125. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Fast food, no exercise and lack of jobs that provide good benefits. Think it's bad now, wait until the GOP gets control.

    November 29, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  126. Matt A.

    It's not rocket science what's killing America. It's actually very simple Math. It's the 1% sucking the life out of the remaining 99%!

    Matt A. Miami, Fl.

    November 29, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  127. Terry in Virginia

    What's killing Americans is stress - stress over losing jobs, losing homes, not having enough food to feed the family, inability to find another job, worrying about paying bills, and trying to survive every day without hope that the next day will be better. You know who doesn't have much stress these days? The criminals who destroyed the economy and politicians. They know they are immune from prosecution and quite frankly they don't give a damn about the rest of us so they sleep quite well. We the People need a Black Tuesday, one day in which we all contact our representatives with a simple message: "You Work for Us." If not now, definitely remind them on Election Day, 2012.

    November 29, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  128. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    Whew! For a moment I was too quick, your question is in present tense not past tense. I would offer that cowards die a thousand deaths, where are we right now, about in the later 900's ?

    November 29, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  129. Pete from Georgia

    What's killing Americans is the foolish constant chasing of the American Dream which is nothing but a life of temporary cotton candy ventures. We're forever chasing rainbows wearing ourselves out both physically and emotionally.
    Beyond sad.

    November 29, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  130. Ralph Spyer from Chicago Illinois

    Our Government, startings wars Vietnam, Iraq1, Afghanistan, Iraq2, and now they will want to start a war with Iran. The war on drugs, 2million Americans in jail, no work, no hope, the more education you have the more you know the government is for sale. Tv 2and half men, Fox news, Isreal problems, my job. pinto cars, airports, ect

    November 29, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  131. Brian Samuels (Chicago)


    November 29, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  132. dave in nashville

    Maybe the word "Masterpiece" in the background?

    November 29, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  133. Pete, GOPer from Nashville

    For starters, a healthcare system that "cares" about profits more than health and a legal system that turns "preventitive" medicine into doctors preventing lawsuits. The US is a great country, but we should also face the reality that we don't always have the best answer. We should take a look at those other countries and learn from them. As much as it pains republicans, it may be time to see if government health care will give us better and cheaper care.

    November 29, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  134. minerva

    Aetna charges me $1,932.00 monthly–for one person–in NY for a premium.
    This is beyond cruel. It is bankrupting me.
    I am being exploited for being responsible and keeping health insurance. This is healthcare–not a trip around the world! I am a self-employed 60-year-old middle-class widow. No one should have to pay more than five percent of their income for insurance.

    November 29, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  135. Paul P.

    Some of the highest obesity in the world, and a for profit healthcare system that ties itself closely to socio-economic factors. So, as the middle class dwindles, more people increasingly cannot afford to see the doctor at earlier stages that might prevent onset of more serious problems. Its a system that sees more profit in managing illnesses rather than curing them.

    November 29, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  136. Kevin in CA

    Many previous posts identified lots of specific items. It is, in a macro sense, the continued decline in the standard of living in America.

    November 29, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  137. DeDe from NC

    The American Dream is killing America, but not in the way you think. Our dream of the good job, the perfect family, nice cars, and the house with the white picket fence has led to us turning into a lazy nation. That good job is a desk job. That perfect family rides around in that nice car instead of walking, and the nice house is taken care of by a weekly maid service. And, perhaps the biggest issue of all: our nice sized bank accounts have lead to more eating out and less home cooking, and when we do cook at home mom is too tired from working that "good job" to do anything other than whip up some hamburger helper.

    November 29, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  138. Andrew Carlile Salt Lake City, UT

    It's our food. No other country has a much processed and or genetically modified food. Look at how much fat is in a big mac or any other typical American meal. We need to get back to basics.

    Also, we have the best athletes in the world but one of the highest obesity rates. What gives?

    November 29, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  139. Jenna Roseville CA

    The U.S. is 28th in life expectancy. What’s killing America?

    This is an easy question, Jack.

    1. Lack of affordable Health Care for ALL Americans.
    2. Lack of Employment results in homelessness, no food, no health care
    3. Republican lawmakers – vote against the common good for All Americans

    All of these things result in Americans slipping in life expectancy.

    Roseville CA

    November 29, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  140. John (Roswell, GA)

    It's quite clear what's killing Americans: it's stupidity. Stupidity because Americans refuse to think outside this box they've created for themselves and to trust in a deflated economy, the stupidity of the US Dollar, the stupidity of a failed health care system, stupidity of government, stupidity of reality televison and the stupidity of celebrity worship, the stupidity of trusting in the stupid mainstream media, stupidity of the way they eat and consume and of course the stupidity of the education system in this country. Basically, we're all stupid.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  141. lynnej in nc

    What is killing America? No will and backbone is what.

    The politicians are scared of not being relected instead of doing the right thing while some of us voters continue to vote against our own self-interests.

    If you know a politician doesn't want to extend access to healthcare or fix the mortgage crisis or create jobs, why are you voting for these people?

    Again, it goes to no backbone or will by all.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  142. Michael from MN

    The fact that people will never read the actual report but will be willing to state emphatically the answer to your question. People do not take the time to educate themselves and pick the sources of their opinions based on their predetermined ideas.

    Can you please provide the name and location of the report used as the source for your report? It sounds like an interesting report to read and pass on.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  143. Eugene

    What kills America is for-profit health Care. health is not a commodity that a person may or may not choose to ignore. I can cut down on red caviar. I can not cut down on insulin or a heart surgery.

    We're at the bottom of the totem pole among the developed countries in health care because we do not have public health care,

    November 29, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  144. Josh from New Orleans

    Americans don't care what they eat as long as big businesses make the portions big, cheap, and "tasteful."

    November 29, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  145. John Knox


    What's killing America is your bone headed government. We get better healthcare for less expenditure in Canada. And our prescriptions cost less too.. Pure accident? I don't think so.


    November 29, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  146. Susan from Idaho

    In a word Jack, stress!!!

    November 29, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  147. Linda in Arizona

    The triumph of capitalism over all is killing the "health care" system. The health care industry in the US is just another opportunity for greedy corporatists to rake in profits. We are paying for it with our lives.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  148. Nell, South Carolina

    We need ObamaCare because our approach to health care is not effective. ObamaCare is a beginning. Give it a chance.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  149. Tim

    What's killing Americans???

    November 29, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  150. Cindy - Georgia

    Our expensive Health Care System is killing us. Insurance companies choose our treatments, how long we can stay in hospitals, what medicines we take and what illnesses to cover. We have the fanciest hospitals in the world; perks that do nothing to improve health. As with so many things in our country, the bottom line is no longer about the great service to the people but the great payment to the shareholder. It is so unAmerican.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  151. Ted

    Medical bills...............

    November 29, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  152. Ali from Bedford, NY

    One word Jack...OBESITY.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  153. Ron K

    Fatty fast food and lack of exercise, plain and simple.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  154. Mike Miles


    November 29, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  155. JN

    Republicans !!

    November 29, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  156. Charles

    It is our fast and loose life style. Remeber the ole saying "Die young and leave a good looking corspe." Americans are not living the longest, but we are living the good life.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  157. jimihaha

    food. the food we eat. the food we let poison us. it's vegetables like pizza.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  158. Dr. Richard Masterson

    It's Simple. Our health care has a high price and lower results because it is run for profit. I've quit the game and retired.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  159. Nate

    One very clear word covers it all Jack – GREED

    November 29, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  160. David from Auburn

    Obesity and cigarettes

    November 29, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  161. jered in Utah

    Its this hurry up and get out there and step on whomever you like but by golly you better get that nut before someone else does, rat race we insist on participating in...we aren't living, we're insisting on living so fast we are dying quicker with the stresses this brings with it

    November 29, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  162. Ron

    Hey, Jack! I have a one word answer to what's killing America!
    Answer: CONGRESS!

    November 29, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  163. Dr. Paul W. Palm

    Lifestyle choices: alcohol, tobacco, fat, sugar, salt, gorging, sedentary,...

    November 29, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  164. Nina Carroll

    Processed food with high levels of sugar and sodium and a lack of exercise is what is killing America physically. Mentally, reality tv &GOP debates are killing off brain cells at an astonishing rate. Buy fresh fruit &veggies at local farmers' markets, turn off the tv &get your fat butt off the couch America. Save yourself!!

    November 29, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  165. Sean

    Highest in spending, not in life expectancy because although it costs a lot to keep obese people alive they still aren't going to live to see their 75th or 80th birthday

    November 29, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  166. Omar

    Once again, this is an unfair comparison. Healthcare is only one piece of the pie. Social factors like diet, smoking, and lifestyle control the majority of health outcomes. How can we expect to live as long as the Japanese when we have 30% obesity rates and only 3% of them are obese?

    November 29, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  167. Bob-o

    This is easy. Compare the American diet to that of the countries ahead of us. We pay for healthcare to treat disease instead of preventing disease in the first place. Healthy diet and exercise leads to a healthy life. simple.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  168. Jeffrey-NYC

    What's killing America? Fatuousness, not fat.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  169. David Shaw

    that's easy, what's killing America is greed, capitalism. helath insurance and Pharmceutical companies who quite literally couldn't care less whether people live or die just baout money. Like they say. 'There's plenty of money to be made,
    supplying the doctors with tools of the trade'

    November 29, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  170. Richard Martin

    Hi Jack..... I guerss it wouldn't have anything to do with the 160+ toxins that are said to be coursing through most of our veins? But getting 'big business' to admit that would be like pulling teeth from a Gnarwhal.....Good luck with that!


    November 29, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  171. Frank

    All i know is insurance companies receive about 30% of all health care expenses go to insurance companies for non-medical causes. Things like advertising, and massive CEO bonuses. We need a public option. Also, after a medical student graduates from medical school, they are suddenly dealt massive amounts of debt. Physicans spend years paying off their loans. Make medical school free, as it is in many countries in Europe. THen we can rightfully demand lower reimbursement rates from physicians and make our health care system more affordable

    November 29, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  172. John Keida from Oklahoma

    A toxic cocktail of greed, materialism, dishonesty and partisanship.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  173. John Trumbull

    Simply one word, GREED!!.......Shame, shame, shame on us here in America.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  174. Jamie White, Tacoma WA

    Because we do not have universal single payer health care we are geared to curing illness instead of preventing it. Most nations with higher life expectancy are seen by a physician before they need surgery or expensive medication. Add in poverty where people are only treated when they are well on the way to dying and you have the American way to death not life.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  175. G. Anderson

    The out of control corporations, including the insurance industry and the politicians they own, as well as the pharmaceutical companies, and the government agencies they run, like FDA... Then there is Giant Agri Buisiness, and the government agency it owns USDA... that allows Franken food, but goes after small organic farmers...

    November 29, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  176. Robert Read

    Jack, The filth of American politicans the insurance Industry greed and their buying Senators and Congressmen, also the greed of Hospital Executives. We need a CHANGE in Washington, State Capitals, and at the local level NOW as tomorrow is too late. America is now a Third World Nation!!

    November 29, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  177. Dale N.M.

    I am semi-retired I occasionally work for a very large contracting company, kitchens bathrooms and carpeting, during the housing boom business was great, today's biggest buyers are doctors, dentists, eye doctors, hospital administrators, pharmaceutical, these people have no problems spending thousands of dollars remodeling their kitchens and bathrooms just because they are tired of the old one. The houses they live in are high end six-figure houses, with high dollar cars and SUVs in the garages. These people know there is always going to be people "Needing medical services", and they also know there is never going to be a shortage of people willing to pay for their services. The people who need their cutting-edge technology services but cannot afford it, they are just simply referred to the other doctors so that means they die if you know what I mean.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  178. Steven Swanson

    What's killing America? Do you really have to McAsk?

    November 29, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  179. Chris, Ashland, MA

    When health care is treated as a business, sick people are treated as a drain on the profit margin. Health care should be a right, not a luxury.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  180. Gus Gesumaria

    Hello Jack,

    As an osteopathic medical student,this is always a heated topic in our classes. This problem comes down to a lack of prevention. Things like smoking, poor diet and a lack of exercise cause the diseases that cost so much money! It is our outlook that is mostly the problem. We tend to think that our actions will not have repercussions down the road. The truth is, if a doctor tells a patient about their habits, their health and how they can avoid problems in the future it is the patient's job to take these suggestions seriously. It is not JUST healthcare that is broken, it is a lack of foresight.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  181. Garald

    What's wrong with America? A Self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing, Super-size ME & to hell with tomorrow attitude. (this isn't oversimplification, just the naked truth w/o glittery details)

    November 29, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  182. Scotty Burns

    What's killing america is americans! We are the king of consumers, giving many other countries around the world the opportunity to catch up to us, with their own industrial revolutions, to keep up with the amount of consumer crud that we americans all desire! Between our lifestyle choices, food choices, and most other choices are based around the almighty dollar, and the accessibility of the McDonalds lifestyle and gluttony, is the answer you are seeking.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  183. Robert

    The health insurance companies are killing us. Their ruthless drive for profits at any cost to us, and their lavish spending on politicians leaves no money left for actually paying for healthcare for their policyholders. Until we get a single-payer system funded by the government, we will continue to have sub-par healthcare in the US.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  184. Jerry Baptiste

    OverConsumption. Americans over eat, over spend, over consume in many different ways. It's almost as if we see it as a trophy of our "wealth". We eat more than our bodies are hungry for. We spend more than our bank accounts can support both on an individual & national/govt level. We simply over-indulge. We want health care reform? We can eat our way to health care reform. Eat more veggies, fruits, & whole grains & less processed foods, meats, & fats. We want financial reform? Don't spend more than we have! It's amazing to watch Americans w/ negative net worths collecting debt on credit cards to get a deal on Black Friday. It's sad.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  185. Jmac

    The food and drug administration is one culprit. They have allowed our food to be pumped with antibiotics, growth hormones, and you name it, plus they have not done a good good job on banning that which is detremental to our health. We didn't have all these problems before these government agencies were formed to protect us. Like all agencies, they have been bought by big business.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  186. Kelvin Owens

    The answer is simple...Freedom.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  187. derek sylvester

    Republicans,Jack who else??

    November 29, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  188. Lisa

    What's killing America? For starters the fact that there is a complete lack of preventative care and further that we are better off sick when it comes to pharmaceutical and insurance companies making money. It's easier to prescribe a pill than to alter lifestyles – much like it's easier to take a pill, then to exercise 3 times a week.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  189. Sal from Chicago

    Our ignorance of serious issues, such as this, and our politicians not being able to see beyond party affiliation- a combination of this is killing America.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  190. steve

    The food supply. Overly unhealthy, processed, and full of GMO. We are eating ourselves to death.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  191. rick

    From an outside perspective, i can tell you what is killing America. Itself. You have a broken political system, with people on both sides voting against their own self interest. How could anyone in their right mind vote AGAINST a socialized healthcare program ?? do these peoplewant a privatized police force as well ?? the rest of the modern world just chuckled as we were told of death panels for the old ..

    November 29, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  192. Marc J. Yacht MD, MPH

    Why the surprise that we are 28th? I'm surprised it's not worse! 50 Million are uninsured, millions more can not afford their co-pays, and the health insurers decide who they will insure, and what bills they will pay. The answer is a more efficient system that ends the profiteering. Medicare For All would be a simple solution asurring health care for everyone, ending the fragmentation, and stabilizing costs. Any one payer system could accomplish this. No one has clean hands in this inadequate health care system that leaves millions without affordable, equitable health care.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  193. Greg M

    Poverty, Stress & High Fructose Corn Syrup

    November 29, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  194. Jason Widerstrand

    political and corporate greed. there is no concern for anything but pocketbooks and political clout. its not about under-regulation or over-regulation ...it's MIS-regulation and absurd priorities.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  195. AB

    Jack, in answer to your question, the following things are killing America:
    * Obesity
    * Drug and Alcohol abuse
    *Smoking and other forms of tobacco use
    * Gun violence
    * A broken healthcare system
    * Reckless and risky lifestyles and behaviors

    November 29, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  196. Marty

    HFCS – and all other sugars and things that become sugar very quickly. As it turns out, Robert Atkins was, in fact right after all! Cut the simple carbs. Get weight normal. Stay out of the Medical Care Business in the first place.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  197. Joe in Massachusetts

    Hi Jack, If you want to know what is killing America, just watch the documentary "Forks over Knives". Dr Esselstyn and Dr Cambell discuss why a plant-based diet can eliminate heart desease and GREATLY reduce the incidences of MANY deseases like cancer, sugar diabetes, etc. The reason we do not know this, is the powerfull lobbies that do NOT want us to know ... Dairy Industry, Meat Industry, etc. The research of these 2 doctors has made my wife and I switch to vegan diets.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  198. tony

    The answer is simple......FOOD. The food has so many chemicals to preserve its shelf life, its taking away from our own "shelf life". change whats in the food we eat and 90% of our problems will disappear along with the leeches making profit off our health

    November 29, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  199. Cal in CA

    It's capitalism. In America, healthcare is run by Wall Street. Health insurance is there to make money, not make people better. Sometimes there are things that shouldn't be governed by the shareholders. Health insurer CEOs in the US are the highest paid executives in the world.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  200. Bill from CA

    I believe that both the high health costs and the low expectancy of life are a byproduct of our lifestyle choices. Americans in general exercise less and make poorer diet choices than people in other countries.
    Simply put, if you are eating a cheeseburger with fries every day and going from your bed to your car to your desk to your couch and back to your bed, you will have problems. No amount of quality affordable healthy care will save you from yourself.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  201. Kent

    Quit blaming businesses. America has become fat and lazy. In the US, type 2 diabetes is mainly caused by America's poor diets and lack of exercise. Complications from diabetes is causing the most deaths in the US. Americans want everything quickly and easily. It is too easy to blame businesses or politicians instead of looking in their own mirror!

    November 29, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  202. Patrick

    28 in the world is not surprising. Clinton and then Obama put forth bills for health care and Obama with some compromise got it passed. But Big money politics want to take that away. Hey there are parts of it that Obama had to compromise on that they can take away, One Big Money compromise was Everyone had to buy there insurance or go to jail cluse. Or The bush Tax cuts, (what did that have to do with healthcare?) Greed and you know who is behind it, That is what keeps us 28th.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  203. observer

    What is wrong? Ignorance and too much greed when people making lots of money on every aspect of the current health care system find fault with any attempt to find a solution, and gullible people believe all the lies.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  204. Andrew

    Jack, I think that the insurance companies are what are killing americans. I pay for an individual plan close to $430 per month plus my coinsurance of 20 percent, yet when I need my insurance, they aren't there for me. I need to have a procedure that would allow me to have a normal bodily function, but the insurance says I have to basically deal with the condition for 12 months before they will cover treatment. I am unemployed so I cant pay for treatment on my own.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  205. Dr Larry Malerba

    Very poor dietary habits, the overuse of steroid medications and antibiotics, and vaccines that tinker with the immune system are all factors, which combined are destroying our collective health.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  206. Sarah from Wisconsin

    First, we do not have enough funds for PREVENTIVE health. In the long term, it is cheaper to prevent a health issue than to treat it (reactive healthcare). Second, we do not have a national healthcare program, like the ones in European countries. In the UK, all healthcare is free to its citizens. The government decides which medications are free to its citizens and then swith the drug companies to get the medications at a lower cost. The US is not able to negotiate like the UK, thus the medications cost more.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  207. Graham (Kingston, Ontario, Canada)

    What's killing America is killing Canada too and that's stress, too much of the wrong foods and lack of exercise. Fix those and you'll add another 10 years! Everyone knows this but bad habits are hard to break. One more thing....Japanese eat lots of fish....and more of that would help us all.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  208. SUE from NY

    Jack, corporate greed is killing Americans!! Food that is full of chemicals: particially hydrogenated oils, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup to name a few!! Socrates said, "Let food be thy medicine!" Yet few medical people are trained in nutrition! We work longer & harder than most countries- we don't teach enough health education!!

    November 29, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  209. Cody (Sterling, VA)

    People always seem to blame others for their problems, but that's not the problem. What we eat is the problem; from personal experience, I can tell you that Americans eat more of everything. We are the land of the plenty, and we are stuffing that plenty down our gullets. We do not need this much food for our sedative lifestyle. If we learn to cut down on food we don't need, maybe we will stop dying from preventable diseases.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  210. H. O'Connor

    What's killing America? A disease of affluence: heart disease. We are eating our way to an early grave.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  211. Amanda

    What is so shocking about this? Americans are probably the fattest people in the world. The amount of people with diabetes is going up at an alarming rate. With the discovery of ADHD more and more kids are being treated for a disorder that pretty much every child has shown symptoms of at one time in thier life. Because of this more and more people are unhealthy thus, causing them to seek specialized medical attention. The cost of living in the U.S. is one of the most expensive in the world so Americans are paying more money because of thier bad health. Yet since they have such bad health the life expectancy drops.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  212. Col. Michael McDowell, USA

    Jack-The problem is a for profit system that gouges Americans at every turn. Research to cure diseases is stymied because it is more profitable to manage a disease than to cure it. Insurance companies, hospitals, lawyers, bean counting accoutants, and state to state regulations which keep the system in it's current broke state are the primary reason. Insurance companies which deny valuable life saving treatments know it is cheaper to let someone die than to allow them the dignity of living. Our whole country has become a usurious society which preys on the have nots and even keeps the rich one disease away from bankruptcy!

    November 29, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  213. Brent

    From what I heard, our medical facilities are outdated compared to the rest of the world. Also, another killing factor is insurance; it's expensive and the rates are expensive. Only the will of our great society, and I say that with little enthusiasm, can change this, but how much are we willing to change ouselves like we change our clothes?

    November 29, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  214. Bill - Upper New York State

    Jack, I can tell you in four words: diet, stress, worry, and guilt. I just turned 75 yesterday, look, act, and feel at least 15 years younger than my age, and expect to at least reach 100. I watch what I eat and make screw-ups a learning experience. I don't worry about politics; I just email them my grips and vote against them if they screw up. I use the word CONCERN instead of WORRY. I rarely feel stressed out. I think young; my brain thinks it's still in its 30s. Jack, people who think old ARE old. They'll die off while I'm still enjoying life.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  215. Nell, South Carolina

    Unhealthy eating, inadequate knowledge of what eating habits are unhealthy, corporate greed, politicians who say "no" to everything, and TV media that gives equal time and prominence to both good and bad ideas. For an example, consider the Ag Dept rules that would put fewer french fried potatoes in school cafeterias. The media gave equal time to pro and con. Dumb!

    November 29, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  216. Firoz B

    What is killing the American Healthcare System are the insurance companies and the fact that the food habits are increasingly getting bad and to top it all we don't take individual responsibility when it comes to making the right choices of eating healthy and working our regularly. Let's blame ourselves before we blame others.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  217. rich from wisconsin

    one word jack,


    November 29, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  218. JoAnn from Chicago

    a 2-dollar item - a fork.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  219. Derek

    Greed! There is alot more money in treating an illness than in curing an illness.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  220. Stephen

    What is killing America?

    The profit driven medical care system. Too many people simply cannot afford the medications and help they need – we need to get everyone coverage that is affordable and effective.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  221. Mary B Knape

    This is an easy question. It is the game of strict adherence to political dogma! Heaven forbid the common citizen should benefit more than the fat cats. Mary – Chandler, Arizona

    November 29, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  222. Ron

    Remote controls, riding lawn mowers, Mcdonalds and unloaded guns.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  223. Andrew from Michigan

    Jack, It's simple. Fat and Pollution. America is one of the fattest countries and it is also one of the most polluted. What we need to do is go on a country-wide diet and clean up. I know I can lose a few pounds and I can use less electricity too. Our life expectancy will sky rocket with less heart-disease, less cancer, and fewer people with diabetes.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  224. Ian

    Jack, what's killing us is that we're working ourselves to death so as to afford health care!

    November 29, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  225. Eric Tornow

    What's killing america is war in Iraq and the economy and money we got to get back to where it was before and get rid of John Boehner and get back Nancy Pelosi the democratic party

    November 29, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  226. Shawn Michigan

    What's killing America? Obesity, greed, politics, the list goes on and on. Seems like its a race to see who can have the most money or the most cars, rather than providing affordable healthcare. Look at labor rates in other countries, people work for less and are humbled by it. Healthcare in the US is run by politicians that have no background in healthcare like Obama fighting for jobs when he has never had one. I pay for insurance but if I don't use it I get nothing back, but if I use it I have to pay more into it.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  227. Dara in L.A.

    Our diet which is polluted with chemicals and fillers, so it's cheaper.
    Our lack of exercise starting with the elimination of physical education in our schools, because it's cheaper.
    Our corporations' unwillingness to increase paid vacation for their workers, because it's cheaper.
    We are killing ourselves because as a people, we are cheaper.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  228. Richard

    It's those well known vegetables....pizza and fries!

    November 29, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  229. Eric

    To begin, we as consumers, are putting American Exceptionalism on "lay-away" at an alarming rate. Why? Could it be that our current system is structured in such a way that clearly creates an unequal playing field in the age of joblessness? And under current healthcare policy it requires a job to secure adequate healthcare? More alarming is this: our government, which is managed by corporate America pulling the strings, has exhausted all options in obtaining the profit so the only option left is profiteering from the taxes associated with death and inheritance? If so, shame on the officials running America into the grave.

    Warner Robins, GA

    November 29, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  230. Luke Urice

    The 2nd leading cause of accidental death in America is from prescription drug medicine, it used to be gunshot wounds. People are addicted to and dying from the over prescribed pills that are supposed to help us. Our food is killing us, there are not enough healthy restaurants in America.Our people keep having strokes and are crippled, like my aunt, meanwhile my cousin jokes about having to pay for an abortion. Let us legalize stem cell research.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  231. cenk

    Birmingham, Alabama I live in perhaps the most obese state in the United States with one of the highest rates of Diabetis. Most hosptial admissions are for preventable illness like smoking, the side effects of alcoholism, obesity and the related heart diseae. The other part is from our poisoned food supply with artificial sweetners, artificial color, MSG not to mention pesticides and so on. The Actual medical care we are getting is actually not much different than form the 1960's, but now we can get more scans, but it does not help that the disease is already there. True cutting edge preventitive treatments are only available by private cash only medical practices. The hospital have cut back care severely and raised fees through the roof.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  232. Flyingwolf from Manchester, NH

    What's killing America? Doctor Bills. When I still had insurance, my doctor wanted me to come in almost every week. That's a $20 co-pay out of my paycheck. Then she wanted me to try every expensive medicine there was even when there was a cheaper medication available. I had a hard time convincing her that some of these items put me in terrible pain. My last doctor was great for treating a horrbile infection I had, but with this constant fine-tuning because of test resullts with medications instead of advising me of diet changes made me have to quit having health care insurance because I couldn't afford the numerous visits and medications she kept wanting me to take. My issue is that we will never get proper health care for Americans if doctors and big pharma are on such a profit motive. Plus the fact that the only stores and restaurants in depressed areas only carry the kind of food that adds to the problem.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  233. Charles - San Antonio

    It's the goverment. The goverment is always responsible for all bad things. And if they can't fix it, through more money at it. We need a trillion dollar program to investigate this early death problem. The goverment can solve this problem, and if they can't, let's elect the same politicains again to address the same problem. That's the American way.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  234. Jacques

    Jack, there is one thing we need to keep in mind, rapid aging of the American population along with a very capitalized healthcare system and a degradation of the nutritional system leads to high government spending. Reforming the healthcare system and improving nutrition will be the ultimate solution.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  235. Nina Carroll

    Processed food w high levels of sugar & sodium and lack of exercise is killing America physically. Mentally, reality tv &GOP debates are killing brain cells at an alarming rate. Buy fresh fruit &veggies from local farmers' markets, get your fat butts off the couch, America!! Save yourself!

    November 29, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  236. William

    Addiction. Addiction is killing us. Smoking, drinking, illegal and prescription drugs, food addiction, and the behaviors and diseases that go with all these things; drunk driving, unsafe sexual behaviors, child neglect and abuse, diabetes, lung cancer, liver failure etc, all can be traced back to addiction. Until Americans can grow up emotionally and learn to live life without depending on a quick fix to cope with our emotional ups and downs, we are doomed to die before our time.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  237. Harold

    They feed corn to pigs to fatten them for slaughter, try buying food without some form of Goverment subsidized corn product! Couple that with 54 Million without Health insurance and preventative care and wonder why we are 28th? I expected even lower.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  238. Kent

    When the FDA causes a pharmaceutical company to spend over a billion dollars to get ONE drug to the US market while other countries do not require the extensive amount of costs that is required by the FDA and when the US starts to become MUCH less letigious, that is when the costs of pharmaceuticals in the US becomes more equivalent to the cost in other countries!

    November 29, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  239. Linda in Iowa

    My experience has been that doctors actually admit they cannot treat patients as they think best, but are constrained by medical insurance requirements. Example: my insurance required that I try 5 different prescriptions (several to which I was allergic or had prior negative reactions) before my doctor could prescribe what he knew I needed. I am uninsured now, as is my adult son. Canadian acquaintances have far better care and Provincial health records. Americans are actually paying paper-pushers and CYA procedures rather than receiving true medical care.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  240. Tammy

    GREED!! That is what is killing America. Corporate greed, political greed, and personal greed. When American's learn to stand up for what is right for all American's then we will overcome what is killing America. Unfortunately, I do not see that happening anytime soon. If you disagree just look at what happened on Black Friday.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  241. Kat Crowley

    Interesting!! The UDSA is the only industrialized country in the world allowed to add steroids and anti-biotics to meats and dairy products. Daily consumption depresses the immune system, a set-up for future chronic illness.
    The shelf life of most foods in American kitchens ismany years. There must be a correlation between chemical and carcinogenic food additives and cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetis and other chronic life-shortening systemic illness. Perishable/fresh foods are not eaten in the US as much as they should be. Gone are the days of going to the store every few days for fresh food. Check the sodium levels in your foods, canned foods have BPA in the linings – all carcinogenic.
    Many environmental factors are also at work, yet I believe the food industry has so changed that it is killing us. I only eat organic dairy products and very little meat. I find it interesting that the FDA does not consider cellulose, basically Saran Wrap, used to puff up food is legal as a food additive. Count how many items you have in your kitchen that contain cellulose. Cellulose is most often used in cereal and foods that contain claim to have blueberries. They raen't real blueberries!!! Really folks, are there that many blueberries in the world????

    November 29, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  242. Steve, Toronto

    Over 90% of Canadians are satisfied with their health care system, pay about half per person on health care costs and the average male Canadian lives 2 years longer than the average male American. Businesses run American health care and they do not care about the health of Americans, they only care about profits. They will allow Americans to die early and watch their bank accounts grow. Unless Americans stop thinking that businesses and the free market will do what is best for the American people, this will not get any better. Who do you think wanted pizza to be considered a vegetable for your kid's lunches?

    November 29, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  243. Michael from Texas

    My wife is an RN and it is GODLESSNESS AND GREED!!

    November 29, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  244. David G.

    What is killing America is the predominant mindset that more is better. Americans are obsessed with bigger vehicles despite the rising costs of fuels. Americans are obsessed with the mentality that bigger is always better whether it be the amount of food we eat or the money that we make or the amount of property we own. It is time that Americans wake up and realize the severity of our nation's and our citizen's predicament. Love your show..

    November 29, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  245. Kevin Kappen of American Fork, Utah

    Many things are killing Americans.

    1. The FDA "partnership" with Big Pharma. Poisons like Aspartame are approved based on payola, while truly healthful alternatives are either banned completely or prohibited from making health claims.

    2. Fast food.

    3. Sedentary lifestyle.

    4. We have too much insurance, not too little. Current models do not incentivize healthy lifestyles, there should be more "major medical" insurance options, with most office visits and routine things strictly between the patient and the doctor with no middle man. Also, businesses should quit providing insurance as a benefit, it just locks employees into expensive plans that do not provide good value. Give employees the money and let them make their own helathcare decisions.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  246. J from Tillamook, OR

    What is killing America is that most of the people in this country are brain-washed into believing that no other nation in the world might actually do things better than we do. Thus we stick to an archaic, unfair, and increasingly bad healthcare system. If our system is so good, why doesn't any other country try to copy it? Our Declaration of Indepence stated that one of our "unalienable rights" was life, but with our healthcare system, that is no longer the case for many of us.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  247. Diane Reeves Panama City FL

    What's killing us is that America's social contract has been shredded by Ayn Rand conservatives with the result that we have a healthcare system that's socialized for some, while the rest who don't have Medicare, Medicaid or private/employer-subsidized health insurance are warned to not get sick; and, if you do, are told to die quickly.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  248. BobW

    Corporate greed is killing America. Insurance Companies, Healthcare institutions and drug manufacturers have paid off all the politicians to guarantee a positive revenue flow feeds their coffers at the expense of the gereral public. With some of the best health insurance benefits around, the politians have nothing to loose by continually passing favorable legislation that continue to favor those that contribute big $s to their reelection.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  249. Ed

    A great deal of life expectancy has to do with lifestyle choices and risky behavior. A 30 year study conducted at UCLA showed that Mormon men who follow the principles of the "Word of Wisdom" live on average 10 years longer than his fellow non-mormon cohort. Mormon women live 5 years longer than her fellow non-mormon cohort. Lifestye choice make quite a difference.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  250. Jason "Germ Guy" Tetro


    The imbalance between individual health and consumerism is the greatest killer in any country. There is a continuing trend to buy, eat, drink and yes, smoke whatever is advertised with no consideration of the consequences. This is completely unsustainable and worsened by the fact that the health care system becoming less reliable for health maintenance. If social behavior doesn't change, it won't be long before we begin to see a reduction in life expectancy due to mainly preventable diseases, such as obesity, diabetes cancer, infections and autoimmune disorders.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  251. Nell, South Carolina

    Lack of exercise, too much processed food (such as high fructose corn syrup), uneven availability of health care and politicians that don't live in the same world as the rest of us.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  252. Bob from Maryland

    That's easy. As I'm sitting here eating a hot dog for dinner, I'm sure my counterpart in Japan is eating some nutritionally rich sushi. We just have bad habits and we're lazy. Maybe this recession will get more americans off their butts and rethinking our choices.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  253. Robert Corodimas

    The politicians, both republicans and democrats and their combined hidden agendas – the answer is one term each. the oligarchy needs to end which would quickly fix the hidden agenda thing!

    Robert C. in L.V.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  254. David

    Of the 192 industrialized countries worldwide, the US is the only one where profit making Insurance Companies control health care....they don't give a damn about people's health...!!!! They just want to make money. All the other countrires of the world learnt a long time ago that public health care systems are CHEAPER, BETTER, and UNIVERSAL. The US is in the Middle Ages when it comes to Health Care !!!!

    November 29, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  255. Kartik Valluri

    It a multi-factorial cause, Lifestyle choices and a lack of Lifestyle choices on the individual. Then we go higher, socio-economic restraints and ease availability of fast, frozen, or fatty foods. Governments debates on Pizza as a vegetable...and those who agree, the mother working two shifts can't be expected to maintain a nutritional balance in family, even if she decided the cost of eating and being healthy is immense. Higher up, the mega-corporation influence on the the marketing of their products regardless of nutrition or safety. Other factors like, Pollution, Ocupational Hazards and Exposure...The "EPA is destroying America" supposedly. Healthcare concentrating on who gets covered for what, and how much its going to cost instead of focusing on prevention and easier access for the population to healthcare. Being a healthcare professional myself the system is so concrete, spun under influence of the government, policies and greed, we tend to overlook the most simple answer: Common Sense. The real killer is inability of those who decide for the greater good, who were elected to help the people they supposedly work for... succumbing to greed, politics and putting a spin on matters that really matter..and self perpetual cycle continues.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  256. Jim Waldorf

    Can't believe this is even a question Jack. The U.S. being behind 27 other countrys in health care , and at a cost of 8 thousand bucks per person. It's not rocket science, or the Hubble Telescope. The 27 nations in front of the U.S. all adopted British Common Law (as most developed nations have) However, the U.S. is the ONLY nation that does not employ the simple caveat of "Loser Pays" In other words you sue and lose, plaintiff pays (or lawyer) pays the costs of legal defense. The United States Of America, is seriously sucking a back tit. And lawyers are getting too fat on the cream. But of course congress is comprised by a majority of lawyers, so REAL tort reform will unfortunately never happen in the U.S. So we might as well get used to it. 8,000 bucks per person, family of four 32,000 per year, average median wage 45,000 dollars? Do the math, it really smells bad. Mexico is FAR BETTER.
    Jim Waldorf-conservative expat

    November 29, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  257. Liz

    from Virginia
    What's killing America is the Health Care Industry. The big insurance companies view us as premium-payers, not as patients, and profit is their main concern, not our health. In the countries where there is 'socialized medicine', everyone gets medical treatment regardless of ability to pay, and preventative medicine is given much more importance than in this country. I lived in Canada for many years, and was always able to get wonderful healthcare, from any provider I wanted, with no restrictions for pre-existing conditions. And, contrary to popular belief, the taxes are not that much higher in Canada than the US. It could be done here too, if people would realize that the current health care system is broken and needs a complete re-think.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  258. Nathan

    Three Things,all summed up; One, Politicians. Two, Obesity. Three, Itself.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  259. John

    That's easy......The politicians

    November 29, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  260. Jerry Baptiste

    OverConsumption. Americans over eat, over spend, over consume in many different ways. It's almost as if we see it as a trophy of our "wealth". We eat more than our bodies are hungry for. We spend more than our bank accounts can support both on an individual & national/govt level. We simply over-indulge. We want health care reform? We can eat our way to health care reform. Eat more veggies, fruits, & whole grains & less processed foods, meats, & fats. We want financial reform? Don't spend more than we have! It's amazing to watch Americans w/ negative net worths collecting debt on credit cards to get a deal on Black Friday. It's sad.

    Jerry Baptiste from Brooklyn, NY

    November 29, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  261. Greg

    I'm going to respond with the physical aspect of "What's killing America". It's the "Push-button", "I've gotta have it right now", "Get out of my way", attitude that the American people have let take over their everyday lives. This way of lifestyle is invisiibly degrading our health and making us sick by putting undue stress on our bodies.

    Cincinnati, Ohio

    November 29, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  262. Ray

    We're obese, pure and simple. Go to any mall in America, then take a survey of the first 50 people you see. You'll be astounded at how many of them are overweight by at least 50 pounds. No health care system in the world can overcome this problem. To her credit, at least the first lady in trying.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  263. dwight shah

    Too easy bro. high fructose corn syrup, sodium nitrate, hydrated oils, any process food period. don't trust the FDA, RDA or the USDA. It's all about profits. shop at the local health food store, try a vegetarian diet for awhile you will notice the difference in your overall health. if you cant be a veggie please eat wholesome meats, which i know is a pain in the ass to find. cheers

    November 29, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  264. Keith - Indiana

    what's killing America? 60 is the new 40 hour work week, it cost twice as much to eat healthy as is does to eat unhealthy, and the fact that we have been sold a bill of goods by our politicians...

    November 29, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  265. S Haber

    What's killing America is "for-profit" insurance companies who have a responsibility to their shareholders to grow profits - not to improve the healthcare of the American people. The lionshare of our healthcare dollars goes to these companies (check out executive pay and bonuses!) and their shareholders, not the doctors, hospitals and healthcare providers. More and more, it's less money, and therefore less care, going to the American people.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  266. Carter

    Jack I think It's obvious that our fast food consumption is taking it's toll. health care providers and insurance companies are fully aware of this. Not to mention doctor patient care has gone completely gone down the drain, seems like the hippocratic oath is the hippocritical oath.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  267. Esther

    Americans with health insurance expect the highest standard of care and the most advanced technology without regards to costs . The system is too complex and too fragmented. In a profit-driven medical culture, that shifts from primary to acute care, with too many insurance agencies, payers, care offices etc. Patient-centered care will save us all.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  268. Bob

    Republicans. They viciously block universal healthcare for all and they represent the pharmaceutical and insurance companies and will do anything for profit over health. Americans often forget that even if they have health insurance, it IS rationed: they can't see any doctor they want without prior approval or paying a much higher premium; they can't get any treatment they want without the approval of the insurance company. US laws permit the pharma and insurance industries to control every aspect of our lives. Republicans especially will do anything to protect them. Republicans purposefully used fear-mongering and lie outrageously to the American public about this issue. Sen. Bernie Sanders, an Independent, is a wonderful advocate for ALL Americans' health; he has recommended that for a start we institute Medicare for All.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  269. G DeWolf Shaw

    In fact Jack, your own CIA Factbook ranks the United States 50th in life expectancy.
    Up here in my beloved Canuckistan, with our Conservative government in office for 5 years now and just re-elected for a new 4 year term, and where we nationalized medicine in the late 1960's because we were sure that America was going that way too for all Americans - not just 65s and over - so we feared that we would lose our best and brightest to LBJs Great Society of socialized medicine, according to your CIA, Canada is now up to 12th and we now live 3 years longer than Americans. Go figure.

    G DeWolf Shaw

    November 29, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  270. Ricky

    Capitalism is killing america, Capitalism can be a bad and good thing. It's all about profit, all corporate will spend all the money on their ads for their products. Such as fast food, alcohol, pharmaceutical, insurance industries, all these industries are related to one another. Every time we turn on our tv, we see these ads which influence our daily choice in life. If you're not rich in this country, you're not going to be healthy. This is the bad side of capitalism. GREED and PROFIT!!!

    November 29, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  271. Shannon

    It means you have to be dirt poor or filthy rich to get health care in America. GREED!!!

    November 29, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  272. Kevin in Atlanta

    What's killing America is this idea that if you aren't working yourself to death then you are worthless. We as Americans increasingly see the person next to us as a competitor first and a neighbor seconds. We are in a constant state of competition and stress. Yet, we are surprised when our hearts finally give out.

    I, for one, enjoy my vacation time and work as little as I possibly can while still being able to pay my bills and save for the future. I'm enjoying life. That's why I won't die early.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  273. Terrence

    Poor lifestyle choices, lack of exercise, and bureaucratic health care system that doesn't effectively serve their customers. Wake up America.....stop eating fast food, quit smoking and get off the couch. We have the fattest poor in the world! Whats wrong with this picture? We can afford to over feed them but we can't effectively treat them.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  274. Sam in NC

    Greed is killing us indirectly. More directly, it is greedy pharmaceutical companies who would like us all to take as many of their pills as possible, greedy food companies who want to cut as much cost and use the cheapest ingredients possible no matter what the potential long-term effects are (known and unknown, but who cares), and greedy employers who work us to death just to increase profit. Yes, all companies must make a profit to exist, but it is beyond ridiculous in this country. Just look at all the companies that opened on Thanksgiving, all in the name of profit. But they all have good leaders: just look at our Federal government!

    November 29, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  275. Cody Prince in Canada

    What is killing Americans? Are you serious? Tray taking a look at the average American diet. Supersize , Biggie size, Texas size portions of horrible fast foods. Even if you think you are eating healthy. That doesn't mean you have to eat the entire cow at the dinner table. Try pushing away for the table. It's not poor healthcare for the money. That killing you. It's the fact the average American is too lazy to eat healthy. Obese and the need for Instant gradification!!

    November 29, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  276. Dr. Thomas Gregus, RD, MA, MD.

    Simply asking this question is a display of ignorance. Life expectancy is not a metric that is directly correlated with the provision of quality care. Life expectancy is a function of the lifestyle of the patient. Asking the question of cause propagates the notion that there is some medical cure for what is a pervasive unhealthy society living in denial.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  277. Jordin

    Its very simple you are paying for Insurance and Pharmaceutical company massive profits. If you had the same system as Canada everyone would be covered, you would save almost enough to eliminate the deficit and by the way...live one year longer! Wake up Americans you are being taken for a ride by lobbyists in Washington.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  278. Anita

    What's killing America? Greed: fueled by overarching need for big profits. Myopia: from an unrelenting focus on the short term bottomline. Lack of political will: with politicians whose primary focus is getting re-elected, at all cost. And lack of ethics: on the part of leaders of all institutions i.e. medical, pharmaceutical, insurance & political. Healthcare? What healthcare? We have sickcare in America.

    This country is run by pharma & insurance companies, that control our politicians through their powerful lobbyists. Propped up by apathetic, largely ignorant voters who complain, but won't take time to educate themselves & advocate for a better system.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  279. dre pa

    well at least congress isn't dieing jack at least they're not deceased "they're vegetables" your words jack!

    November 29, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  280. Don Sawyer, Vancouver

    Simple, it's arrogance.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  281. Donald Hammers

    What is killing America is our deficit spending to maintain our consumer life style. We have become the world's highest consumer-debtor nation. Yet we give away billions in foreign aid to extend our nation's influence worldwide. We can no longer grow enough food on our dwindling farmland to support our population. Our dependence on foreign imports has outstripped our ability to pay. Our manufacturing has moved off shore for short term economic/tax advantage. Our government looks the other way while millions of foreigners invade our country illegally to take advantage of our general welfare funds, our jobs, and our liberal-thinking politics. Our laws are enforced upon Americans while these foreigners are given special treatment. I predict that the United States of America will reach third world status within the next ten years, given the present trends.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  282. Cee.La

    Once again we have been sold a bill of goods.....we have been hammered with,.....We are the greatest...for so long we believe it......Our Government is run by people who design the laws for the rich, and then they benefit financially from said laws.....our HC system is a for profit system...... a pill for everything... we get so caught up in our self, we forget to take a walk, plant a tomato,read a book.....turn the damn social media off......we are bombarded constantly with ....how bad everything is...... so we take another pill.....We have forgotten how to enjoy the simple things.......

    November 29, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  283. John Fagan

    As an Australian currently in the US on business, it seems to me that too many Americans, including Politicians, Doctors, corporations (just about everyone) is still trying to live by the words of an old movie (Wall Street) "GREED IS GOOD".

    Everyone seems to want more for themselves at the expense of everyone else – particularly Business, Politicians, Bankers – you name it and Doctors and the private medical business is no exception.

    You guys need to get back to some form of everyone looks after themselves the same as they look after themselves. You all seem to promote your Christian values, but everyone seems to have forgotten Jesus' words of "Love your neighbour like you love yourself.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  284. Geoff from Bear, Delaware


    November 29, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  285. Robert Mallo


    November 29, 2011 at 5:50 pm |