Category Archive 'Socialized Healthcare'

03 Nov 2015

Arguing for Socialism with Statistics

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Bookworm explains how the standard leftwing arguments for socialized heathcare featuring negative comparisons of the United States with allegedly superior and more enlightened other countries rest upon statistics which dissolve like fairy gold upon examination.

It all began when my son expressed dismay at data from his AP Environmental Science text-book:

    In 1900 the U.S. infant mortality rate was 165. In 2011 it was 6.1. This sharp decline was a major factor in the marked increase in U.S. average life expectancy during this period. The United States ranks first in the world in terms of health care spending per person, but 54th in terms of infant mortality rates.

(G. Miller, Scott Spoolman, Environmental Science, p. 100.)

My son didn’t want to believe that America, which he thinks is a great country, could rank so low in something as basic as infant mortality. As it happens, I knew that those numbers were wrong, so I immediately spoke up. I got as far as saying “Those numbers are wro…” when a far-Left physician in the room literally shouted me down.

“This is not political. We don’t need to hear any of that right-wing crap. You’re going to turn this in a political argument. This is science.” The other guests looked stunned.

I tried again. “I’m not talking politics. This is about statistics. You need to know that….”

Again, the Leftie physician cut me off. “Little Bookworm, don’t listen to her. She’s just going to go on with her political crap. The problem is with the U.S. medical system.”

I tried again. “Let me finish. This is a statistical problem.”

Leftie cut me off again. “No, don’t go there.”

I ignored him and went there anyway. “Stop!!!” I hollered at the top of my lungs. The room fell completely silent. I finally had my say.

“The problem with any analysis that ranks the U.S. so low when it comes to infant mortality is that different countries have different ways of determining what’s a ‘live birth’ for purposes of calculating infant mortality statistics. The U.S. is one of the few countries in the world that counts any baby born alive, no matter how fragile it is, as a living baby for infant mortality purposes.

“In other countries, such as Korea or places in Europe, they only count babies that are a certain size or weight as ‘live births.’ Comparing U.S. numbers with other countries’ numbers is an apples and oranges comparison unless you adjust for the differing baseline of what constitutes a live birth. The study cited in the book is garbage in-garbage out.”

Read the whole thing.

05 Mar 2009

Looking Forward to Obamacare?

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A lot of Americans were delighted to hear that, once Barack Obama was elected, absolutely everyone would be getting exactly the same kind of health care enjoyed by US senators. If you believed that, you need to talk to me about this bridge I have for sale.

Today’s Daily Mail has a story illustrating how government-provided health services really work: by rationing.

Thousands of patients with terminal cancer were dealt a blow last night after a decision was made to deny them life prolonging drugs.

The Government’s rationing body said two drugs for advanced breast cancer and a rare form of stomach cancer were too expensive for the NHS.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is expected to confirm guidance in the next few weeks that will effectively ban their use.

The move comes despite a pledge by Nice to be more flexible in giving life-extending drugs to terminally-ill cancer patients after a public outcry last year over ‘death sentence’ decisions. Leading campaigners last night said Nice had failed the ‘acid test’ of whether it really intended to give new priority to people with just a few months to live.

One drug, Lapatinib, can halve the speed of growth of breast cancer in one in five women with an aggressive form of the disease.

Dr Gillian Leng, Nice deputy chief executive, said ‘The committee concluded that Lapatinib is not a cost-effective use of NHS resources when compared with current treatment.’

Up to 1,500 stomach cancer patients also face a ban on Sutent – the only drug that can extend their lives.

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