Ten Reasons Why American Healthcare System Is In Better Condition Thatn You Might Suppose (1-5)

From Scott Atlas at the Hoover Institution:

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. Take the proportion of the appropriate-age population groups who have received recommended tests for breast, cervical, prostate, and colon cancer:

* Nine out of ten middle-aged American women (89 percent) have had a mammogram, compared to fewer than three-fourths of Canadians (72 percent).

* Nearly all American women (96 percent) have had a Pap smear, compared to fewer than 90 percent of Canadians.

* More than half of American men (54 percent) have had a prostatespecific antigen (PSA) test, compared to fewer than one in six Canadians (16 percent).

* Nearly one-third of Americans (30 percent) have had a colonoscopy, compared with fewer than one in twenty Canadians (5 percent).

5. Lower-income Americans are in better health than comparable Canadians. Twice as many American seniors with below-median incomes self-report “excellent” health (11.7 percent) compared to Canadian seniors (5.8 percent). Conversely, white, young Canadian adults with below-median incomes are 20 percent more likely than lower-income Americans to describe their health as “fair or poor.”

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One thought on “Ten Reasons Why American Healthcare System Is In Better Condition Thatn You Might Suppose (1-5)

  1. 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) The version posted is a reprint. The original article included references. Although possibly not for the pupose of people actually looking them up, as it turns out that they from suspect sources, or do not actually have anything to do with the subject, or just 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 responses 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 liberal think tank, whose board includes representatives from health insurance and medical malpractice lawfirms. Their latest report 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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