NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Medical Care Facts And Fables

August 25, 2010

A new book, "The Truth About ObamaCare," by Sally Pipes of the Pacific Research Institute, lays out the facts about government-run health care in the plainest English.  While she can't tell you the future, she can tell you enough about government-run medical systems in other countries that it will not take a rocket scientist to figure out what is in store for us if ObamaCare doesn't get repealed before it takes full effect in 2014.  It is not a pretty picture, says columnist Thomas Sowell. 

We hear a lot about how wonderful it is that the Canadians or the British or the Swedes get free medical treatment because the government runs the system.  But we don't hear much about the quality of that medical care, says Sowell: 

  • We don't hear about more than 4,000 expectant mothers who gave birth inside a hospital, but not in the maternity ward, in Britain in just one year; they had their babies in hallways, bathrooms and even elevators.
  • British newspapers have for years carried stories about the neglect of patients under the National Health Service, of which this is just one; when nurses don't get around to taking a pregnant woman to the maternity ward in time, the baby doesn't wait. 

Pipes also points out that medical care is just one of the factors in life expectancy.  She cites a study by Professors Ohsfeldt and Schneider at the University of Iowa, which shows that, if you leave out people who are victims of homicide or who die in automobile accidents, Americans live longer than people in any other Western country. 

Doctors do not prevent homicides or car crashes.  In the things that doctors can affect, such as the survival rates of cancer patients, the United States leads the world, says Sowell. 

Source: Thomas Sowell, "Medical Care Facts and Fables," Real Clear Politics, August 24, 2010. 

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