Friday, June 17, 2005

More on Socialized Medicine in Canada

Proponents of socialized medicine have always quoted rather suspect statistics purporting to show that foreign health care systems are better than that of the United States. Chicago Tribune writer Steve Chapman puts the numbers into perspective.
Admirers of our good neighbor to the north say the United States pours money into all sorts of fancy equipment but doesn’t get better results by such measures as life expectancy. But life expectancy is affected by multiple factors, including education, crime rates and diet — with health care playing only a modest role. In those areas where modern medicine can make a big difference, the United States does very well.

Take breast cancer. In Britain, which is famous for its socialized system, close to half of all victims die of the disease, according to a recent Cato Institute study by John Goodman, head of the National Center for Policy Analysis. In Germany and France, almost one-third do. In Canada, the figure is 28 percent — and here, it’s 25 percent. Our mortality rate for prostate cancer is 67 percent lower than Britain’s and 24 percent lower than Canada’s.
The apparent cost savings of socialized medicine have always been dependent on having populations that will accept what Americans won’t — restrictions on access enforced by government bureaucrats in order to meet budget limits.

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