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Friday, September 17, 2004

For the Children 

We all know that the American healthcare system is Totally Fucked Up. We pay two to three times (in terms of total expenditures, GDP) what our Canadian, French or Japanese counterparts do, for partial coverage to their full. Some argue that the problem is too much regulation, and others say that we get better care than do people in those other places.
Those who say the latter, are wrong. For anyone who'd like to argue that children's health is not a (or perhaps THE) key measure of a successful health system I will also note that the US has lower life expectancy and higher infant mortality than do most other "First World" nations. We need to drastically change our system, or we are In Trouble.

Deaf kids in Nicaragua (who probably don't have great healthcare either) , have provided a groundbreaking 'natural experiment' in language development. They developed their own sign language, and researchers have been able to track its evolution in real-time. Very, very cool. Anyone who has the full-text journal article should send me a copy and I'll love you forever.
UPDATE: There's a much fuller description available here.

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