That data sounds impressive. HOWEVER - is it realistic? Does this data represent all general care (which may be improved) or serious medical
conditions? Does this data also reflect areas where universal health care has NOT done as well?
First, a link from a well-known liberal blog posting on the politics and the manipulation of data by the NHS (Britain's universal health care
The Delay of Death? How NHS Waiting Times for Cancer Treatment
A notable quote from the above article:
Prof Sir Mike Richards, the chief inspector of hospitals is reported to have said that patients' lives may have been put at risk so the Trust could
give an impression it was meeting waiting list targets.
Staff are said to have told Care Quality Commission inspectors that they were "pressured or bullied" to change data, to make it seem as if people
were being treated in line with national guidelines. As a result some patients may not have had the treatment they needed in time.
What the press did not report is how waiting times for Cancer treatment and subsequent deaths because of treatment delays, have become a political hot
potato. Health and mortality are such explosive issues that pressure, in our experience, is routinely brought to bear on NHS staff to assist in a
countrywide 'cover up'.
So, in this case, there is actually a criminal investigation into the manipulation of data to hide the fact that wait times and treatment outcomes are
dismal. If this happens in Britain, does it happen elsewhere? Is the single poll cited above by the OP manipulated? Hard to say with just that bit of
information (I have a very hard time seeing San Francisco as the best place to get medical care in the U.S.).
Its also funny that HuffPo in the U.S. thinks that single-payer is the fix for us, but across the pond, have NO PROBLEM attacking the deficiencies of
that same proposal. Hmmmmm......
Another story from the Daily Mail:
Deadly wait for cancer treatment
A notable quote from that article:
Thousands of cancer patients are dying as they wait for treatment, it was revealed yesterday.
The number waiting a 'dangerously long time' has doubled in two years, according to a report from the Royal College of Radiologists.
Two-thirds of people face a delay of longer than four weeks, during which time many tumours spread and become incurable.
In some cases, patients are having to wait up to eight months for radiotherapy. The Government target is for treatment to begin within four weeks of a
referral by a consultant.
The study found the number of patients receiving medical attention within the target time fell from 68 per cent in 1998 to 32 per cent in 2000.
Britons are less likely to survive cancer than residents of almost every other country in Europe.
So, maybe you can get your cold treated quickly and cheaply. But God help you if you have cancer in Great Britain.
Thats just two examples from Great Britian, while admittedly not all of Europe, who is going to tell us that the U.S. will be more like the areas you
quote, and not the areas I quote???
From what I am reading, indeed if you have an earache or flu, the treatment may be better, and if suffering from trauma, the service may be
cheaper...but if you are suffering from any serious or chronic condition, you are more likely to die.
How does the U.S. stack up in this regard (treatment of chronic life-threatening conditions? I'm sure there are many opinions, I will present one:
10 Surprising Facts about American Health Care
And, a notable quote from that article which compares all of Europe to the U.S. in regards to serious chronic life-threatening conditions and
Fact No. 1: Americans have better survival rates than Europeans for common cancers. Breast cancer mortality is 52 percent higher in
Germany than in the United States, and 88 percent higher in the United Kingdom. Prostate cancer mortality is 604 percent higher in the U.K. and 457
percent higher in Norway. The mortality rate for colorectal cancer among British men and women is about 40 percent higher.
Fact No. 2: Americans have lower cancer mortality rates than Canadians. Breast cancer mortality is 9 percent higher, prostate cancer is 184
percent higher and colon cancer mortality among men is about 10 percent higher than in the United States.
Fact No. 3: Americans have better access to treatment for chronic diseases than patients in other developed countries. Some 56 percent of
Americans who could benefit are taking statins, which reduce cholesterol and protect against heart disease. By comparison, of those patients who
could benefit from these drugs, only 36 percent of the Dutch, 29 percent of the Swiss, 26 percent of Germans, 23 percent of Britons and 17 percent of
Italians receive them.
So according to THAT source, the U.S. is the best place to be if you really REALLY need to get treatment that will KEEP YOU ALIVE.
If I accused the OP of cherry-picking data, then I could stand to face the same accusation, so I won't make such a statement.
I will state, that there are as many differing opinions, and in many cases cherry-picked data, available on this issue, so I would suggest that the OP
data (as much as mine) must not be considered conclusive even though it may contain personal opinions of friends from Europe.
Comparing access and effectiveness of general medical care is NOT the entire story, especially when it contrasts drastically with the access and
effectiveness of care for chronic life-threatening conditions.