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It’s always helpful to be armed with a few key statistics about important subjects, heading into Thanksgiving dinner. This video above, written and produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation, explains the state of health care in the United States. Here are a few key takeaways:

1. The U.S. has the highest rate of deaths that could be prevented by good health care among comparable countries, and it has higher-than-average rates of medical and lab errors.

2. The country also spends a lot on conditions like back pain, arthritis and diabetes. For every $1 we spend in the U.S. economy, 17 cents go to health care. Other comparable countries spend a dime.

3. Things are turning around, though. The U.S. is seeing lower rates of death from some cancers, and people are more likely to survive more than five years after being diagnosed with some cancers.

4. Nationwide, health care spending is slowing, and fewer are uninsured than ever before.

Erin Rhoda

Erin Rhoda is the editor of Maine Focus, a team that conducts journalism investigations and projects at the Bangor Daily News. She also writes for the newspaper, often centering her work on issues of sexual...