Medicine alone can’t lengthen US lives. We need to invest outside the health care system.

USA Today

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For the third consecutive year, life expectancy in the United States has declined. In fact, for the past 60 years our life expectancy has dropped in comparison to other rich countries. As we consider the state of our union, we should ask ourselves how this is possible, since the United States spends more on health care than any other country in the world.

We think medicine will fix our problems. We should invest in medical treatments, but we must face disappointing results from medical research: Even the best clinical care has little effect on population life expectancy.