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Astrological Musings

I’m going to file this under the category of Saturn concluding its travel through Virgo, the sign of health and the fragile ecosystem that makes up the body/mind/spirit system of the human being.  Saturn forces us to face reality – it’s the cosmic wake-up call.

Last year during the debate on health care, one of the GOP talking point was that the American healthcare system is the “best in the world.”  In fact, Richard Shelby of Alabama said “[the healthcare bill] will be the first steps in destroying the best health care system the world has ever known.”

Unfortunately, talking points do not create reality, and Reuters reports that a new study from the Commonwealth Fund shows that the United States ranks last in quality of health care when compared to Britain, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand.  The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation whose mission statement aims to “promote a high performing health care system” in the United States.  Its Board of Directors includes Medicare experts, physicians, hospital administrators, researchers, and executives at investment firms.  

In 2007, health spending was $7,290 per person in the United States, more than double that of any other country in the survey.

Australians spent $3,357, Canadians $3,895, Germans $3,588, the Netherlands $3,837 and Britons spent $2,992 per capita on health in 2007. New Zealand spent the least at $2,454.

This is a big rise from the Fund’s last similar survey, in 2007, which found Americans spent $6,697 per capita on healthcare in 2005, or 16 percent of gross domestic product.

“We rank last on safety and do poorly on several dimensions of quality,” Schoen told reporters. “We do particularly poorly on going without care because of cost. And we also do surprisingly poorly on access to primary care and after-hours care.” …

Britain, whose nationalized healthcare system was widely derided by opponents of U.S. healthcare reform, ranks first in quality while the Netherlands ranked first overall on all scores, the Commonwealth team found.

U.S. patients with chronic conditions were the most likely to say they gotten the wrong drug or had to wait to learn of abnormal test results. …

Critics of reports that show Europeans or Australians are healthier than Americans point to the U.S. lifestyle as a bigger factor than healthcare. Americans have higher rates of obesity than other developed countries, for instance.

“On the other hand, the other countries have higher rates of smoking,” Davis countered. And German, for instance, has a much older population more prone to chronic disease.

You can read the whole report here.

The (Sibley) chart for the United States includes a challenging square from Pluto to Chiron suggests a predisposition in the country to health challenges.  But Pluto in the second house, creating an obsession (Pluto) with money (second house) means that everything is tied to the need for wealth.  As long as lobbies run the healthcare industry in the US, the healthcare system will suffer.  

With Pluto traveling through Capricorn, the sign of corporations and other societal institutions, transformation is possible.  But first there needs to be a breakdown phase.  Just as in our individual lives, if the breakdown phase cannot occur with conscious intention, the breakdown will be imposed on us from the outside so that the system can be rebuilt with integrity and balance. 

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