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Do you have the answer to the United States economy and a cure for cancer?

09/08/11

Do you have the answer to the United States economy and a cure for cancer?

From Thomas Sowell's "Two Different Worlds: Part II"

That is why countries with government-run medical systems have waiting lists to see doctors, and even longer waiting lists to see specialists or to get an operation. That is why those countries seldom have as many high-tech medical devices as in the United States or use the newest medications as often.

I had to laugh at this. About 4 years ago, I had an ingrown toenail and called the podiatrist my internist had recommended to have it removed. He said he accepted my insurance and could schedule an appointment to look at it... in six months. Research indicates that waiting a month to see a doctor in America is common, and that there are "longer waiting lists to see specialists" right here in the good ol' U. S. of A.

In those things that are crucially affected by medical care, such as cancer survival rates, the United States leads the way. In things that doctors can do little about -- such as obesity, homicide or drug addiction -- Americans shorten their own lives, more so than people in other comparable societies.

This enables advocates of government-run medical care to cite longevity statistics, in order to claim that our more expensive medical system is less effective, since Americans' longevity does not compare favorably with that in other comparable societies.

For those who think in terms of scoring talking points -- as distinguished from trying to get at the truth -- this kind of argument may sound good. But should something as serious as life and death medical issues be discussed in terms of misleading talking points?

I'd be interested in seeing his definition of "lead[ing] the way." Indeed the United States does well in certain types of cancers, but socialized medical care systems can make the same claim:

Coleman and colleagues drew on data from nearly 2 million cancer patients, ages 15 to 99, whose medical information was entered into 101 population-based cancer registries in 31 countries. The patients had been diagnosed with one of four cancers: breast, colon, rectum, or prostate cancers during the years 1990-1994. They were followed up to 1999, with the researchers comparing five-year survival rates.

The highest survival rates were found in the U.S. for breast and prostate cancer, in Japan for colon and rectal cancers in men, and in France for colon and rectal cancers in women, Coleman's team reports.

In Canada and Australia, survival was also high for most cancers.

France has completely socialized medical insurance, in short Medicare for all - which is what liberals in America wanted during last years health care debacle.

  08:44:00 am by Ragamuffin, Categories: Politics

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