the United States spends far more on health care than any other developed nation—a record 17.5 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014—while enduring worse health outcomes. Life expectancy in the U.S. is lower, maternal and infant mortality is higher, and the prevalence of chronic illness is far more common than European countries. But these poor health outcomes can also be connected to another type of spending...social services that target education, housing, nutrition and poverty.

More than 126 million people in the US – nearly half the population – had no dental coverage in 2012, according to the US National Association of Dental Plans.

more than 3 million people in the state remain uninsured, and policymakers are searching for ways to reach them. Experts say knowing where the uninsured live and work in California is key to reducing their numbers. City and county outreach efforts can be critical to raising awareness among those who are eligible for federal health insurance programs but not enrolled.

A new analysis of nearly 3.1 million patients in the VA system has found a different kind of racial divide: Blacks do significantly better than whites.Over a nine-year period, researchers found that the adjusted mortality rate of African Americans was 24% lower than that of whites, according to a study published this month in the journal Circulation.

white middle-aged Americans have seen overall mortality rates increase over the past 15 years...Although death rates related to drugs, alcohol and suicides have risen for middle-aged whites at all education levels, the largest increases are seen among those with the least education ... For those with a high school degree or less, deaths caused by drug and alcohol poisoning rose fourfold; suicides rose by 81 percent; and deaths caused by liver disease and cirrhosis rose by 50 percent.

There are between 30 and 64 births each year in Kettleman City. In 15 of the 22 years since California's public health department began tracking birth defects, all babies in the town were healthy, and in five other years, only one birth defect occurred. But in the last two years and 10 months, residents say, at least 11 babies have been born with serious birth defects.

For many women, getting a pap smear or a birth control prescription at a doctor’s office is relatively effortless. ... However, not all women in need of reproductive health care find themselves able to be accommodated in a standard doctor’s office.

Child mortality rates throughout the Motherland have plummeted since the turn of the century, falling below the 6 million mark for the first time since the World Health Organization (WHO) started collecting data, a new report shows. However, global health officials say there’s more to be done to meet long-term reduction goals in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially as 16,000 children under the age of five die prematurely daily.

The vast disparities in health and longevity that exist between the races in the United States violate a fundamental idea of justice that we all carry with us at least to some degree... A society that resists ending the preventable causes of these racial disparities in heath is a society resisting justice...Within the United States generally, disparities in health among different segments of the population have increased in lockstep with growing disparities in income and education.