Woefully mediocre for all

We’ve been saying for some time that one of the costs of the socialization (I’ll argue the same for the fascist components of our current system) of medicine will be a decreased level of services. There has been a lot of debate in the U.S. about the results of Canada’s single payer system. Now, there’s a study in the U.S. which indicates that we are only getting mediocre healthcare services.

Startling research from the biggest study ever of U.S. health care quality suggests that Americans – rich, poor, black, white – get roughly equal treatment, but it’s woefully mediocre for all.

“This study shows that health care has equal-opportunity defects,” said Dr. Donald Berwick, who runs the nonprofit Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Mass.

The article was written to suggest there is no economic or racial disparity with respect to the level of healthcare provided in the United States. They also mentioned another significant point — that the level of care is now “woefully mediocre” for all.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. Lies, damn lies and statistics. And this particular report is likely full of all of the above.

    Consider the source, first of all: a government bureaucracy you’ve never heard of. Second, the study is “not nationally representative,” says the AP.

    It looks to me like maybe they manipulated the study to get the results they wanted to get. Someone might want to go into some more detail in picking apart the problems with this study.

  2. MH, I was thinking something similar. I’m hoping to get a copy of it. However, my observations of the healthcare industry indicate they may be correct, at least to some degree.

    I’m curious.

  3. Dude, I’m still about 400 e-mails behind and tired as hell. Bad posting day for me, too. Think I need to hang out with some flesh and blood types for a couple of days.

  4. I found this little gem, which drives home the point that government makes healthcare suck. There is currently a monopoly in vital organs due to government regulations, and dozens of people die every day because of it.

  5. If our system is mediocre, does that mean the system in Canada, Germany, and the UK is abysmal? I like the system as it stands – maybe that’s because I can see my doctor in a short period of time, get emergency care, get surgery relatively quickly, and get cancer treatment started within a week or two of diagnosis, not months.

    Unfortunately, California State Senator Sheila Kuehl is sponsoring a bill that mirrors the Canada system, where it would be illegal to purchase additional coverage, and you and your employer are forced to pay a certain percentage. Once a trend is started in California, it spreads across the country like a week. Hopefully this one will not pass.

  6. Actually, Canadians get to see their doctors in a short period of time, get emergency care, get surgery quickly, and get cancer treatment started within a couple of weeks. You can even check average wait times on the websites for the regional health administrations. That’s the kind of accountability you get with public coverage.

    The really tragically long waits are those of the 46 million Americans who are waiting their whole lives for access to care.

    The U.S. is going single-payer. Get on the bandwagon.

  7. JN,

    I have yet to read an article that quotes statistics on Canadian Healthcare that are positive from a waiting period or mortality rate. Please provide a link if you have one.

    Here is a good article comparing healthcare in England versus the US.


    Lots of comparative articles, US, Canada, UK, etc.:


    The only way to increase coverage to ALL is to decrease service to the the other 250 million people who are covered. Some of those not covered will also receive inferior treatment.

  8. Mike R:

    First, let me say I appreciate your tone.

    My interest is not in advancing any ideology, but ensuring that people have access to healthcare. That’s my bottom line. I think it’s yours, too.

    Here’s a link to data on wait times in Canada: http://www.cancercare.on.ca/index_waittimesRadiation.asp. It deals with cancer treatments, but similar data is available with a little searching.

    The link you provided: not an “article,” but an opinion piece confusing the UK, Canada, and the Clinton plan. Apples, oranges, + some mutant hybrid.

    Glanced at a random article on the next link (a rant about Cuba, irrelevant to current US debate). Not optimistic about the quality of the rest of the pieces there.

    Access is not a zero-sum game. Universal access increases preventive care, reducing future complications. Eliminating administrative waste would free up billions for care delivery. Scarcity lies not with providers, but gatekeepers (ins cos).

    A link for you: pnhp.org.

  9. JN,
    Did you happen to notice ANY of the 20th Century as it went by?

    And if I hear that mantra of “46 million without healthcare” one more time I’m going to scream. At least get the language right. X number of Americans are not without healthcare. They are without HEALTH INSURANCE (counted even if without for only 2 weeks in any 12 month period). Health care can be purchased by anyone, at anytime, from whoever they want (as opposed to CANADA which will put you in jail if you try to do that). Most would rather keep the money and take their chances. Over 30% of your 46 million make over $50K a year and 20% make over $70K. 13 million of them are already eligible for state and federal insurance but simply don’t/won’t enroll. 41% are between the ages of 18 and 34 where the decision to buy exhorbitantly priced insurance (b/c of gov’t coverage mandates) or simply use the money for something else is a no-brainer.

    Wake up already. You’re not fooling anyone here. PNHP is a fraud.

  10. If anyone would like to know what socialized medicine is really all about. Just go here- it’s actively disintegrating as we speak.

    Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences. C.S. Lewis

  11. Interesting link JN. Thanks for the reply. From what I understand, treatment is not the same in all provinces and areas. Some areas have much shorter wait times, but across all Canada, the wait time is longer than the average US wait time.

    Also, while all Canadians of similar location (access) are supposed to have the same priority, those with political influence seem to be more equal than others. I’m not stating that things are different in the US in this regard, only that the system claims to be equal to all and isn’t, where the US system never makes such a claim.

    If I was self employed, I would purchase major medical, and pay for doctors visits as I go. I would be categorized as not covered by basic health care, but that would be a choice.

    I’m also happy knowing that if I get diagnosed with prostate cancer, I am more likely to live in the US than in many other countries with socialized medicine, where treatment is metered.