US still tops in health care

Rick Moran
Pay no attention when Democrats bemoan the lowly state of our national health care system. The study used to promote that nonsense has a serious flaw in it as Betsy McCaughey points out in a New York Post op-ed:

Conrad was duped by a bag-of-tricks report from the Commonwealth Fund (Health Affairs, vol. 27, no. 1, 2008). This put America in 19th place due to our nation's large number of preventable deaths -- meaning deaths from diseases that are curable if treated soon enough.Yet most of these deaths are caused by heart disease and circulatory diseases. The United States has a high incidence because for 50 years Americans were the heaviest smokers and now are among the most obese. Bad behavior, not bad medicine, is to blame. Our health-care system treats these diseases very effectively.

As the National Bureau of Economic Research concluded, "It seems inaccurate to attribute . . . high death rates from these causes to a poorly performing medical system."

Plus, while the Commonwealth researchers claimed to consider curable diseases of all sorts, they conspicuously omitted malignant prostate cancer -- where US care is stunningly successful. An American man diagnosed with it has a 99.3 percent chance of surviving it -- far higher than in any Western European country. It's not a death sentence here, but in Scotland only 71 percent survive, in Germany, only 85 percent.

Conrad also trotted out another "pro-reform" statistic, pointing to a "shorter [US] life expectancy compared with other industrialized countries." Again, demographers are quite clear on this: The causes of reduced US life expectancy are our higher rates of auto fatalities and violent crime, plus half a century of excessive smoking -- not bad medicine.

Isn't it amazing what the Democrats can do with statistics?

Consider breast cancer; a woman in the US who contracts the disease is twice as likely to survive it as a woman in England or Germany. The reason is that women are diagnosed earlier here and treated more aggressively. In other words, without rationing, the American health care system saves lives.

Somehow, I doubt whether that statistic will make it into the health care debate.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky



Pay no attention when Democrats bemoan the lowly state of our national health care system. The study used to promote that nonsense has a serious flaw in it as Betsy McCaughey points out in a New York Post op-ed:

Conrad was duped by a bag-of-tricks report from the Commonwealth Fund (Health Affairs, vol. 27, no. 1, 2008). This put America in 19th place due to our nation's large number of preventable deaths -- meaning deaths from diseases that are curable if treated soon enough.

Yet most of these deaths are caused by heart disease and circulatory diseases. The United States has a high incidence because for 50 years Americans were the heaviest smokers and now are among the most obese. Bad behavior, not bad medicine, is to blame. Our health-care system treats these diseases very effectively.

As the National Bureau of Economic Research concluded, "It seems inaccurate to attribute . . . high death rates from these causes to a poorly performing medical system."

Plus, while the Commonwealth researchers claimed to consider curable diseases of all sorts, they conspicuously omitted malignant prostate cancer -- where US care is stunningly successful. An American man diagnosed with it has a 99.3 percent chance of surviving it -- far higher than in any Western European country. It's not a death sentence here, but in Scotland only 71 percent survive, in Germany, only 85 percent.

Conrad also trotted out another "pro-reform" statistic, pointing to a "shorter [US] life expectancy compared with other industrialized countries." Again, demographers are quite clear on this: The causes of reduced US life expectancy are our higher rates of auto fatalities and violent crime, plus half a century of excessive smoking -- not bad medicine.

Isn't it amazing what the Democrats can do with statistics?

Consider breast cancer; a woman in the US who contracts the disease is twice as likely to survive it as a woman in England or Germany. The reason is that women are diagnosed earlier here and treated more aggressively. In other words, without rationing, the American health care system saves lives.

Somehow, I doubt whether that statistic will make it into the health care debate.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky