Studies: U.S. health care not best
We are told that we have the best health care in the world. Is this true? Is there a worldwide organization that researches such information among countries?
Two groups, the World Health Organization and the Commonwealth Fund, issue reports that compare the U.S. health system with those in other countries.
A report by the WHO came out in 2000 as the first analysis of the world. The report, which some researchers said was flawed, found that France provides the best overall health care, followed by Italy, Spain, Oman, Austria and Japan. It determined that the U.S. health system spends a higher portion of its gross domestic product on health care than any other country; the United States ranked 37 out of 191 countries, according to its performance.
The Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation based in New York, also found that although the United States has the world's most costly health system, it "consistently underperforms on most dimensions of performance, relative to other countries," according to a 2007 report. It said that compared with Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, the U.S. system ranks last or next-to-last on five dimensions of a high-performance health system: quality, access, efficiency, equity and healthy lives.
Pelosi faces election in fall
When is Nancy Pelosi up for re-election?
Republican John Dennis is running against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, in California's 8th Congressional District this year. The election is Nov. 2. Pelosi has been the district's representative since 1993.
Still waiting for 'Atlas Shrugged'
I thought I read that a movie was being made of Ayn Rand's book Atlas Shrugged. Can you tell me the status of the movie and who is possibly scheduled to play the leading characters?
A film adaptation of Rand's 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged has been in Hollywood's mind since the early 1970s, according to a 2007 New York Times article.
Angelina Jolie was thought to be the favorite to play heroine Dagny Taggart three years ago, when writer Randall Wallace (Braveheart) was brought in to compress the lengthy book into a two-hour screenplay, according to the New York Times. That effort stalled in 2008.
Now, according to IMDb.com, producers are in talks with Charlize Theron with hopes of turning the novel into a miniseries, with a release date tentatively set for 2011. Theron joins a list of actors who had expressed interest over the years to play Taggart. According to the New York Times, they include Barbara Stanwyck, Faye Dunaway, Raquel Welch, Farrah Fawcett, Sharon Stone and Jolie.