The Chicago Tribune had an August 16th column by Steve Chapman. It was titled,
Here’s a link that may still work.
What’s remarkable is the content in the column. It factually refutes President’s Barack Obama’s assertion that health care in the U.S. takes a backseat quality wise to other countries.
First Chapman summarizes Obama’s position:
“He says though the United States spends more per person on medical care than any other nation, ‘the quality of our care is often lower, and we aren’t any healthier. In fact, citizens in some countries that spend substantially less than we do are actually living longer than we do.’
“Then he writes something which at first reading seems perplexing:
“That’s one of the favorite rationales for a government-led overhaul. But it gives about as realistic a picture of American medicine as an episode of ‘Scrubs.’”
It can be perplexing because so many people have bought into Obama’s connect-the-dots in the above position.
Here’s what was so factually remarkable in Chapman’s column:
“It’s true that the United States spends more on health care than anyone else, and it’s true that we rank below a lot of other advanced countries in life expectancy. The juxtaposition of the two facts, however, doesn’t prove we are wasting our money or doing the wrong things.
“It only proves that lots of things affect mortality besides medical treatment. Actor Heath Ledger didn’t die at age 28 because the American health-care system failed him.
“One big reason our life expectancy lags is that Americans have an unusual tendency to perish in homicides or accidents. We are 12 times more likely than the Japanese to be murdered and nearly twice as likely to be killed in auto wrecks.
“In their 2006 book, ‘The Business of Health,’ economists Robert L. Ohsfeldt and John E. Schneider set out to determine where the U.S. would rank in life span among developed nations if homicides and accidents are factored out. Their answer? First place.”
Chapman then points out what every American voter should read or be told:
“That discovery indicates our health-care system is doing a poor job of preventing shootouts and drunk driving but a good job of healing the sick. All those universal-care systems in Canada and Europe may sound like Health Heaven, but they fall short of our model when it comes to combating life-threatening diseases.
“Some of those foreign systems are great, as long as you don’t get sick. Samuel Preston and Jessica Ho of the Population Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania examined survival rates for lung, breast, prostate, colon and rectum cancers in 18 countries and found that Americans fared best.
“The U.S. also excelled on other measures, such as surviving heart attacks for more than a year. Why? Because our doctors and patients don’t take no for an answer. The researchers attribute the results to ‘wider screening and more aggressive treatment.’ Another factor is that we get quicker access to new cancer drugs than anyone else.”
I asked my European-trained brother-in-law, the doctor, if he had ever heard this interpretation of life expectancy. He had not.
He did say that it had never made sense to him that European medicine was better than ours.
For a President who is lashing out about people who are misinforming the public, it is truly remarkable that the national news outlets haven’t picked up on these facts.
So if you missed Steve Chapman’s column in the Chicago Tribune, at least some more people will be better informed by McHenry County Blog. Pass it along.
A better informed electorate is one of the best protections for our freedoms.
Unless you consider socialism a form of “personal freedom.”