Health Care Is Killing Us!

David Gratzer of the Manhattan Institute declares diagnosis: nonsense to some of Obama's claims about the sickness of our health care system in the Dallas Morning News:

The high cost of health care "causes a bankruptcy in America every 30 seconds," we're told repeatedly by Barack Obama's administration. The president mentioned these exact words twice in recent weeks, before Congress and at the opening of his health care summit.

It's completely false, drawing on four-year-old bankruptcy stats and a discredited paper co-written by an advocate of socialized medicine suggesting that half of bankruptcies are due to health expenses....

Obama has said that we spend "50 percent more on health care than other industrialized nations. And yet, we don't have ... better outcomes"......

This much is true: Americans live fewer years than people in Canada, Britain and France. But how long a person lives isn't simply about access to health care but reflects various factors: tobacco and alcohol use, genetics, diet, crime rates. Economist Robert Ohsfeldt and John Schneider observe that deaths from accidents and homicides in America are much higher than in any other developed country. Exclude these unintentional deaths from the statistics, and Americans come out on top in life expectancy. 

Michael Moynihan on the latest in supposedly high quality socialized medicine in Britain, with up to 1,200 "needless" deaths in one nightmare hospital; I wrote back in Reason magazine's July 2005 on how no amount of tinkering with health care systems from the top down can solve all our perceived health care "crises." 

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  • ||

    Look, Il Duce is already hell bent on imposing a socialized system of health care on Americans, no matter the arguments against such ghastly measure. It will not matter that bureaucrats in countries with socialized medicine now decide who gets care and who does not, based on totally utilitarian arguments, Il Duce will do it.

    I foresee the rise of private services all along the border with the USA in Mexico, which still has a mostly free private system with little impositions from the government, to cater to middle class and poor Americans who will not receive the "free" treatments on time.

  • JB||

    The US healthcare system currently heavily subsidizes healthcare in the rest of the world. From drugs, devices, to research, the rest of the world benefits because of American breakthroughs and progress.

  • Seer||

    FTG, I thought we were all going to reserve the Il Duce title for Giuliani?

  • bill||

    The "high" cost of health care in this country is CAUSED by government involvement, not in spite of it.

  • ||

    FTG, I thought we were all going to reserve the Il Duce title for Giuliani?

    What, you didn't get the memo?

  • Atanarjuat||

    Walter Williams on the quality of care in Sweden, Canada and Britain.

    http://townhall.com/columnists/WalterEWilliams/2009/03/04/swedens_government_health_care

  • ||

    How can we have so many more accidental deaths and homicides? I thought our masters cured all these problems by throwing bans and/or money at them. Consider me perplexed.

  • Flex Nasty B.I.G.||

    IMHO, one of the biggest reasons that Europeans are so much healthier is that their cities were built before the invention of the automobile, and are therefore designed for walking and biking.

    Contrast that to America, much of which is built only for cars. In many places, it's unsafe to walk the 3/4 of a mile to the drugstore. One has to squeeze one's fat, lazy, American ass into a car and drive the 3/4 mile to the burger joint in the strip mall.

  • ||

    Flex, you may be on to something. They also allow drinking and walking over there. We don't, so instead, people drink and drive contributing to our increased accident and homicide rates. The puritanical baby-sitting that we've been blessed with is our downfall.

  • ||

    I also wonder how much of our health care costs consist of purely cosmetic procedures (facelifts, breast enlargements, baldness treatments, adult braces, teeth whitening, etc. etc.) and people coming from other countries for treatment here.

    Come to think of it, how fair is it to talk about excessive US health care costs when some not-insignificant slice of it seems to consist of giving free health care to citizens of Mexico and points south?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    King Drew

    If you want to know what government health care is like, look up those words.

  • ||

    The high cost of health care "causes a bankruptcy in America every 30 seconds">



    Here's the translation for the innumerate among you: 1,051,920 Americans file bankruptcies every year.

  • ||

    Sorry, hit submit to soon... "1,051,920 Americans file bankruptcies every year due to the high cost of health care."

    Sounds suspiciously steep to me.

  • mark||

    I have no idea what are the most prevalent causes of bankruptcy but health care bills are surely one of them.

    How did we get HMO's, anyway?

  • ||

    Raivo Pommer-eesti-www.google.ee
    raimo1@hot.ee


    3,6 Millionen Arbeitslos


    Die Zahl der Arbeitslosen in Deutschland stieg im März um 34.000 auf 3,586 Millionen. Das waren 78.000 mehr als im März vor einem Jahr, wie die Bundesagentur für Arbeit (BA) berichtete.

    Die Arbeitslosenquote nahm um 0,1 Punkte auf 8,6 Prozent zu. "Der konjunkturelle Abschwung wirkt sich zunehmend auf den Arbeitsmarkt aus", sagte BA-Vorstandschef Frank-Jürgen Weise. Allerdings habe Kurzarbeit dem stabilisierend entgegengewirkt. In den vergangenen Jahren hatte der Frühjahrsaufschwung im März zu sinkenden Arbeitslosenzahlen geführt.

  • Abdul||

    "1,051,920 Americans file bankruptcies every year due to the high cost of health care."

    Sounds suspiciously steep to me.


    Maybe it's just one guy, but he had to file bankruptcy 1,051,920 times?

  • Joshua Holmes||

    No one seriously thinks Britain has a great healthcare system. But it's not the only universal healthcare model. If you want to compare to a well-run national healthcare model, try France or Germany.

    Seriously, I don't support any sort of national healthcare, but continuing to beat the NHS is disingenuous.

  • Eric S.||

    Why do Americans have higher accident and homicide rates than everyone else? (I have some thoughts as to homicides but not accidents)

  • ||

    Why do Americans have higher accident and homicide rates than everyone else? (I have some thoughts as to homicides but not accidents)



    Wizards.

  • not the real jb ||

    Why do Americans have higher accident and homicide rates than everyone else? (I have some thoughts as to homicides but not accidents)

    Because we're still *allowed* to do stuff. We own watercaft, recreational 4x4s, dirt bikes, even rollerblades.

    We *live* more, so we die more in accidents.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Eric S. - we do more driving than any other country on earth. I think that plays a large part. Also, we have a lot of homes with pools, and drowning is the number one killer between ages 1-4.

    Also, wizards.

  • Xeones||

    It's the wizards, Eric.

  • cuernimus||

    We also have the South, where all the dumb ideas that you thought up when you were 4-10 years old get put to the test by people who lack the common sense to realize just how dead they are about to become.

    And if that don't kill them, then there's always wizards.

  • A Wizard||

    'Bout time I got my due.

  • robc||

    I have no idea what are the most prevalent causes of bankruptcy but health care bills are surely one of them.

    Speaking completely out of my ass, Im going to go with credit card debt as the biggest cause of bankruptcy.

  • soon to be dead robc||

    Hey yall, watch this!!!!

  • ||

    I have always said, if you want to get away with murdering your child, just buy them an ATV. My friend Jon used to work for the hospital switch board on campus and he say at least a 1/3 of the life-flight helicopter runs were for ATV accidents involving children.

    Want to take a guess who pays for those flights under our semi-socialized state system? Me and robc, that's who. But never wizards. They are all tax avoiders.

  • A Wizard||

    But never wizards. They are all tax avoiders.

    Your jealousy is SO transparent. Look, I got "people", that's all.

  • robc||

    3 wheeled ATVs were even better at killing children than the 4 wheeled kind.

    A flipped 3 wheeler was almost guaranteed to loop around and run over the driver 2 or 3 times.

    The 4 wheelers are boring.

  • ||

    But never wizards. They are all tax avoiders.

    I did not know Obama nominated any wizards to his cabinet.

  • robc||

    SugarFree,

    Off topic, but for your enjoyment:

    http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/2009/03/twins.html

  • ||

    That is fantastic, robc. Got to get that going around.

  • ||

    The Manhattan Institute? Are you for real? lol

  • ||

    No one seems to understand that our "health care" system, itself, is a real killer-iatrogenic death. Reason tends to either ignore or undersell this reality. It is the very incompetence of our allopathic medical science paradigm that causes so much mayhem and misery. The fact that this paradigm has been largely socialized has only added to the poor outcomes.

  • ||

    If ATVs and pools are the cause of so many more premature deaths than guns, why is 'controlling' guns so high on the left's agenda. Its almost like they have something against gun owners as political enemies or something.....

  • ||

    I think Gangland culture accounts for the homicide figures.

  • robc||

    That is fantastic

    Unfortunately, its a far too apt metaphor.

  • ||

    Hey, we got rid of Gillespie, everything is going to be perfect from now on, right?

  • ||

    525,600 bankrupt! How do you measure 6 months of healthcare?

    /dies of AIDS

  • ||

    It's so cute how you guys speculate...instead of actually finding the actual citations for the actual statistics that you are trying to argue with.

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