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Michael Medved

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Why the health differences between rich and poor?

The healthcare debate continues in the United States. (AP)

A new study of the aging process demolishes one of the chief leftist claims about health care: that government control can eliminate inequality. The research, conducted by Harvard and University College London, looked at more than 25,000 people over 50 in the U.S. and the U.K. In both countries, subjects with higher net worth enjoyed an identical advantage of eight to nine disability-free years compared to those with little or no personal wealth.

The results shocked experts who expected that Britain’s highly touted, government-funded National Health Service would produce more equal outcomes than the United States.

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Data strongly suggests that real differences in health and longevity reflect common patterns in both countries—where the poor are far more likely to smoke, to consume unhealthy diets, to abuse drugs and alcohol, and shun regular exercise.

In both America and Britain health depends less on government programs than on lifestyle choices we can control.

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