Out of Control Policy Blog

10 Surprising Facts About U.S. Healthcare

This is a must read. Only one page long, it is an eye opener.  The them I see in it as that most people think about reform in a vacume.  Either they think things can be made better costlesly, or they think problems in the sytem can be easily fixed. Or both.  And both thoughts tend to be completely disconneceted from any real information about how well the current system works, what it's actual problems are, how well state run health care systmes are, and the acutal problems they have.

Hat tip to Jeff Singer for pointing this out.

Adrian Moore is Vice President, Policy


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Comments to "10 Surprising Facts About U.S. Healthcare":

Hysfjon | August 4, 2009, 10:22am | #

I suppose a few things should be pointed out:

1) Three of the 10 points refers to US cancer treatment. An area in which the US is commonly known to lead the world. That is good, but apparently it was impossible to find a full 10 areas where the US did well?

2) A reprint has recently been published. This one did not include the references included in the original (http://www.hoover.org/publications/digest/49525427.html.)
This is perhaps not surprising, as it turns out that the non-cancer ones are from suspect sources, or do not actually have anything to do with the subject, or in one case concludes the exact opposite of what the author claims. I am still a tad shocked that the response to critisim was just to delete the references when it was next published.
(The author interned in 1982, I personally would speculate that he was not quite onboard with the notion that when writing for the internet, his references can be googled in a minute.)


3) The report was originally produced for the NCPA. It can be found here (With the actual references):

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba649

The NCPA is a "classic liberalist" think tank, whose board includes representatives from health insurance and medical malpractice lawfirms. Their latest quarterly can be found here:
http://www.ncpa.org/files/activities_2qrt09.pdf

There are a number of other problems with the report that the average student should be able to spot. Such as the deliberate selection of Canada for comparisons in waiting times. Canada is known to be the only country in the first world with longer waiting times than the US.
Thus "second worst in the first world" becomes something good.

Finding the rest of the issues this report has is left as an excercise for the students. (Hint: How relevant is the authors background?)



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