Sunday, August 02, 2009

American health care compares favorably with other countries

The idea that our health care system is "broken" is a crock, an urban legend. It is important for someone to tell the truth before the government gets its dirty hands on our health care.

[W]e should consider some unheralded facts about America’s health care system.

1. Americans have better survival rates than Europeans for common cancers. Breast cancer mortality is 52 percent higher in Germany than in the United States and 88 percent higher in the United Kingdom. Prostate cancer mortality is 604 percent higher in the United Kingdom and 457 percent higher in Norway. The mortality rate for colorectal cancer among British men and women is about 40 percent higher.

2. Americans have lower cancer mortality rates than Canadians. Breast cancer mortality in Canada is 9 percent higher than in the United States, prostate cancer is 184 percent higher, and colon cancer among men is about 10 percent higher.

3. Americans have better access to treatment for chronic diseases than patients in other developed countries. Some 56 percent of Americans who could benefit from statin drugs, which reduce cholesterol and protect against heart disease, are taking them. By comparison, of those patients who could benefit from these drugs, only 36 percent of the Dutch, 29 percent of the Swiss, 26 percent of Germans, 23 percent of Britons, and 17 percent of Italians receive them.

4. Americans have better access to preventive cancer screening than Canadians.

Read the whole thing.

Charlie Rangel said today on Fox news that there is no-one that doesn't have a horror story about health care. I don't. I know lots of people whose lives have been saved by American doctors and hospitals. I also know people who could not be saved, but not for lack of trying.

Some people don't have health insurance, and that is deplorable. It doesn't follow that we need to uproot the whole system.

In any case, would I want to turn over my health to the current regime? I wouldn't trust any of them to take care of a houseplant.


Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...,2933,136990,00.html

Time for reflection or a quick, one-sided retort? Talk with an experienced nurse and you'll learn alot about lives lost and families ruined in our US healthcare system.

miriam said...

All health care systems have their failures. We're talking averages here, not anecdotal evidence.