Zero praise?

Lots of the November candidates are promising to re-open the question of Obamacare if they get to Congress. Some want to deep-six the whole program. Some want to deny it funds. Some want to push the President to negotiate changes.

It is fascinating to me that there is barely a politician running this November who is praising the plan. Even those who voted for it are making no mention of it in their campaigns. If you can damn something by faint praise, what do you do with zero praise?

I came across some research by the National Center for Policy Analysis. It suggests that anybody who tries to scuttle or re-write Obamacare may be doing us a favor. (NCPA is non-profit, non-partisan. It does prefer private solutions to government solutions.)

NCPA says if you have breast cancer you are 52 percent more likely to die from it if you live in Germany instead of the U.S. You are 88 percent more likely in Britain. If you have prostate cancer you are 600 percent more likely to die from it in the U.K. and 450 percent more likely in Norway. That is, more likely than in the U.S.



If you are American with breast, prostate or colon cancer you have a much better chance of surviving it than a Canadian, under Canada’s socialized medicine.

If you are American you have better access to treatment to many diseases. Of all the Americans who could benefit from taking statins (to reduce cholesterol), 56 percent take them. Compared with only 36 percent of the Dutch, 29 percent of the Swiss, 26 percent of Germans, 23 percent of Brits and 17 percent of Italians.

Americans also have more access to preventative cancer screening than do Canadians. Higher percentages of us get mammograms, pap smears, PSA tests and colonoscopies than do Canadians. When polled, more lower income Americans say they are in “excellent” health than do lower income Canadians.

Americans wait far shorter time for hip replacements, radiation treatments, various treatments. Shorter times than Canadians and British. In Britain nearly 2 million people sit on waiting lists for treatments.

More than 70 percent of Germans, Canadians, Aussies, New Zealanders and British are unhappy with their health care systems. They believe their systems need either “fundamental change” or “complete rebuilding.”

Most physicians love and want MRIs and CT scans to help them diagnose problems. For every million Americans we have 34 CT scanners. Canadians have 12. For MRI machines, the figures are 27 here and only 6 per million in Canada.

If you want to read more, go to NCPA’s website. It cites a number of clinical studies on which all this is based.

Obviously Obamacare copies some of the features of health systems of other countries. Obviously Obamacare increases the role of government in our health care. For example, it creates something like 150 new bureaucracies. (We will need a Bureaucracy Czar before long.)  In other words, we are fashioning our new system on a major component of many of these foreign systems: government.

Meanwhile, there is clearly a lot of data that suggests we have a superior system now. Before we take on the Obamacare “improvements.”

From Tom ... as in Morgan.                  

For more columns, for Tom’s radio shows and new TV show (and to write to Tom): tomasinmorgan.com.

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