Monday, June 18, 2007

Michael Moore Goes Sicko on Health Care Reform, by Michael D. Tanner. June 18, 2007:

. . . Moore ignores the positive side altogether. For all its problems, the United States still provides the highest-quality health care in the world. 18 of the last 25 winners of the Nobel Prize in Medicine either are U.S. citizens or work here. With no price controls, free-market U.S. medicine provides the incentives that lead to innovation breakthroughs in new drugs and other medical technologies.

U.S. companies have developed half of all the major new medicines introduced worldwide over the past 20 years, and according to a survey by the president's Council of Economic Advisors, Americans have played a key role in 80 percent of the most important medical advances of the past 30 years.

Instead, Moore focuses on life expectancy, suggesting that people in Canada, Britain, France and even Cuba live longer than Americans because of their health care systems. But most experts agree that life expectancies are a poor measure of health care, because they are affected by too many exogenous factors like violent crime, poverty, obesity, tobacco and drug use, and other issues unrelated to a country's health system. When you compare the outcome for specific diseases such as cancer or heart disease, the United States clearly outperforms the rest of the world. . . .