NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


August 20, 2009

Those who favor nationalized health care insist capitalism has failed us as costs continue to climb.  Those on the other side of the debate note that there hasn't been a free market approach to U.S. health care in nearly 50 years, due to Medicare, says the Terre Haute News.

Consider the fact that Medicare faces $34 trillion in unfunded liabilities and President Obama wants to add 45 million people to the bankrupt system:

  • President Obama's health care model is the Canadian system; yet, Canada's mortality rate for colon cancer is higher than the United States because the Canadian government refuses to purchase the two most effective drugs to treat the disease.
  • The proportion of middle-aged Canadian women who have never had a mammogram is twice that of the United States, and three times as many Canadian women have never had a Pap smear.
  • According to John Goodman, President, CEO and the Kellye Wright Senior Fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis, this lack of screening is partly responsible for the fact that the mortality rate in Canada is 25 percent higher for breast cancer.

But it's not all about medicine, says the News:

  • Industry experts note that about 70 percent of medical costs are lifestyle driven; nearly 26.1 percent of Americans are obese.
  • It's estimated that if Americans could get back to 1991 weight levels we would save a trillion dollars.

While we might debate its affordability, there's no debating the fact that U.S. medicine is the best in the world.  When American billionaires become seriously ill, they seek treatment at home.  And while much is made of the fact that U.S. life expectancy is a bit shorter than that of other countries, if you adjust for violent crime and automobile accidents, Americans have the longest life expectancy, says McConnell.

Source: Reggie McConnell, "Cure for the health care system: More capitalism," Terre Haute News, August 18, 2009.

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