by wjw on August 31, 2009

In response to Ron’s post on “Putting it Simply,” below, I dug up a statistics on government-run health care. Since most of you probably don’t read this blog for the comments on the comments, I thought I’d put them here.

In countries with government-run health care, there isn’t a man with a gun telling you that you can’t get a second opinion. Or a third.

Likewise, most countries with government health care also have private insurance, so there would be nothing against your private insurance company paying for a Mayo Clinic visit if the government did not.

You’re much more likely to see private insurance refuse to cover an expensive procedure than, say, Medicare.

Your cancer survival rate depends strongly on which cancer and which country. White Americans have the highest survival rate for prostate and breast cancers, in large part because it’s normal for Americans to be regularly scanned for these potential problems. (Black Americans don’t fare nearly so well. Nor do white Americans in poor, rual parts of the country.)

But Evil Socialist Japan does better than the US with men’s colorectal cancers, and Evil Socialist France did better among women. For the stats, see:, or

The UK doesn’t do nearly so well as other First World countries with cancer, but that has less to do with government-run health care than with British medical culture. British MDs just don’t seem to consider cancer worth fighting— or a lot of anything else.

I had a Brit doctor once, and it was amazing how many things he wouldn’t treat me for. “They’re normal,” he said. “Not for me,” I said, and got a new doctor (which was difficult, by the way, because I live in poor, rural New Mexico, and doctors were abandoning the state in droves, all for good capitalist reasons).

Cancer aside, longetivity statistics show that other countries— =all= of them with government-run health are— are doing better by their citizens than we are. See (This leaves out very small countries like Andorra, Hong Kong, Macau, and Singapore, all of which also have higher longevity stats than the US. Statistically speaking, if you want a long life, you want to get born in a city-state.)

Likewise, if you’re a baby who wants to survive to see your first birthday, it’s better to be born in Portugal, Anguilla, Slovenia, or Cuba than in the USA. See

For a lot of dope on where the disinformation against government-run care is generated, Melinda Snodgrass pointed me to this article on a health-insurance executive whose job was to craft the message against Evil Socialized Medicine, but who changed his mind when he saw poor people being treated in animal stalls. (Yes, in the USA.)

Pat Mathews September 1, 2009 at 11:55 am

Thanks, Walter; and thanks, Melinda. This needs to be more widely known and publicized.

p-dub September 1, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Indeed. It is my observation that the American corporation, medical insurer or ANY other field, will do only what is necessary to maintain the bottom line. The American corporation does not care for the individual / public. Policies and behaviors destructive to the general public are endured until government intervention. The examples are far too numerous to even begin to cite here and I won't bother.

Yes, I realize there are exceptions to the rule, but they are very few and far between and I'd love some examples of THOSE…

halojones-fan September 1, 2009 at 7:29 pm

It's remarkably easy to have a low infant-mortality rate when you claim that half of the dead babies you see were "nonviable" and don't count in the statistics. American doctors have a depressing tendency to declare that living babies are in fact alive, which means that they have to report it when the babies die.

Anonymous September 1, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Having worked in the health insurance business, I think costs would drop 10% if our gov't would mandate that all claims be submitted and processed using the same software or electronic form. But we know that won't happen.

IMHO most of us Americans who have had the chance to see how healthcare works in Europe are not afraid of gov't run healthcare. While I hope and advocate for it to happen here, my hopes aren't very high due to the lies being spread by the privateers and fearmongers.


Dave Bishop September 2, 2009 at 1:39 pm

According to our media some American, right wing Republican commentators have described our (i.e. UK) National Health Service as 'Nazi' and 'Orwellian'. One even went as far as to state that if Stephen Hawking had been British he wouldn't have survived. This, of course, completely ignores the fact that Professor Hawking IS British and has freely acknowledged the debt that he owes to the National Health Service!

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