Wednesday, December 16, 2009

US Healthcare vs Canada's and the MVNHS©: The Truth Hurts [UPDATED & BUMPED]

As we noted earlier this week, there's an email floating around purporting to show how much better our system is than, say the MVNHS© or that of our Neighbors to the North. It references an Investor's Business Daily report, but doesn't include a link, or even a date. Since we pride ourselves on doing everything we can to vet such information, I spent time at the IBD site trying to find the source. Coming up empty, I dropped them an email, to which IBD's Kerry Jackson kindly (and promptly!) responded.

The information in the email is apparently distilled from a May, 2009 IBD article which itself is based on information from Rep Mark Kirk (R-IL), which his office compiled from a variety of valid sources.

It is a devastating rebuttal to those who believe that our system is inferior to, and needs to be made more like, nationalized systems:

■ "In the U.S., only 26 percent of sick adults waited more than four weeks to see a specialist. In Canada and the UK, more than twice as many citizens wait longer than a month to receive the care they need."

■ "In America, doctors use 27 MRI machines per million people. In Canada and Britain, it is less than a fifth of that at approximately five MRI machines per million people."

■ "American women’s survival rate is 61 percent, compared to 58 percent in Canada. American men’s survival rate is 57 percent, and 53 percent in Canada."

The IBD article has more:

[Graph courtesy Kerry Jackson, IBD. No direct link available yet]

Why would we purposefully jettison the clearly superior level of health care available to our citizens?

UPDATE: In the comments, Mike makes a vital point:

"In the US where the absence of insurance is usually cited as evidence of the absence of medical care, waiting times are actually less, and for a greater fraction of the people, than in Canada. And in Canada a greater fraction of the people have longer waiting times than in the US.

And yet, supposedly, Canadians all have insurance. So perhaps insurance is not the bogie that popular opinion holds it to be - and that the US Congress cannot seem to see past."

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