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« Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 454 -- Air Quality & Global Warming. | WILLisms.com | LIVESTRONG Challenge Fundraising Deadline: Almost There. »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 455 -- Health Care.

American Medical Treatment = Best Anywhere-

The term "cancer survivor," even early on in my lifetime (let's say, the early 1980s), was once a rare and miraculous thing. Today, there are millions of cancer survivors in America. If detected early, the chances of beating cancer today are high.

Unfortunately, some countries-- even our fellow post-industrial ones-- are not on America's level when it comes to beating cancer.

Indeed, when health care is socialized, more people die:

People diagnosed with cancer in America have a better chance of living a full life than people in countries with socialized systems," adding, "Among women diagnosed with breast cancer, only one-quarter die in the U.S., compared to one-third in France and nearly half in the United Kingdom.

Sure, statistics can be manipulated. Some statistics, meanwhile, without manipulation, are meaningless. For example, the United States has a higher rate of infant mortality than many other industrialized countries, but that stat might actually be skewed because different countries count in different ways. As The Economist notes:

...high infant mortality in the United States might be the unintended side effect of increased spending on medical care.

Thus, the breast cancer death rate following diagnosis should be taken in context. There may be some explanation-- a statistical anomaly, perhaps-- for America's health care system saving more lives of those stricken with breast cancer. Or, maybe, socialized medicine is not as great as some want us to believe. This is certainly an area that needs more "good" (comparable, reliable) data, so those of us who like to make graphs can... well... make graphs.

Ultimately, what this really indicates is that you can do universal health care all you want, but if that health care is universally sub-par, then what's the point?


Previous Trivia Tidbit: The Environment Is Not Dying.

Posted by Will Franklin · 11 October 2007 12:32 PM


Speaking of graphs, here's one comparing the U.S. and the other nations of Europe based upon the results from the most comprehensive study ever on cancer survival rates by nation.

Posted by: Ironman at October 11, 2007 01:37 PM