Mark Constantian writes in the Wall Street Journal Where U.S. Health Care Ranks Number One (1/7/09)
The WHO believes that we could have done better because we do not have universal coverage. What apparently does not matter is that our population has universal access because most physicians treat indigent patients without charge and accept Medicare and Medicaid payments, which do not even cover overhead expenses. The WHO does rank the U.S. No. 1 of 191 countries for “responsiveness to the needs and choices of the individual patient.” Isn’t responsiveness what health care is all about?
The Nobel Prizes in medicine and physiology have been awarded to more Americans than to researchers in all other countries combined. Eight of the 10 top-selling drugs in the world were developed by U.S. companies. The U.S. has some of the highest breast, colon and prostate cancer survival rates in the world. And our country ranks first or second in the world in kidney transplants, liver transplants, heart transplants, total knee replacements, coronary artery bypass, and percutaneous coronary interventions.
We have the shortest waiting time for nonemergency surgery in the world; England has one of the longest. In Canada, a country of 35 million citizens, 1 million patients now wait for surgery and another million wait to see specialists.
So what does this money buy? Certainly some goes to inefficiencies, corporate profits, and costs that should be lowered by professional liability reform and national, free-market insurance access by allowing for competition across state lines. But the majority goes to a long list of advantages that American citizens now expect: the easiest access, the shortest waiting times the widest choice of physicians and hospitals, and constant availability of health care to elderly Americans. What we need now is insurance and liability reform—not health-care reform.
HKO comment– If I have learned anything over the years it is to get the whole story. Unfortunately unwarranted criticisms, incomplete and slanted data, and inappropriate statistics are repeated by a compliant media and morons like Michale Moore so much that an unsuspecting public becomes overwhelmed with half truths and misinformation. If our heath care is so bad then why do so many people oppose the reform that is passing through our Congress?