Free health care is a fatal notion

Although national health care may be the Holy Grail of American liberalism, Amy Ridenour of the National Center for Public Policy Research sees this model more as a poisoned chalice.

It would be bad enough if national health care merely offered patients low-quality treatment. Even worse, Ridenour finds, it kills them:

  • Breast cancer is fatal to 25 per cent of its American victims; in Great Britain and New Zealand, both socialised-medicine havens, breast cancer kills 46 per cent of women it strikes.

  • Prostate cancer proves fatal to 19 per cent of its American sufferers; in single-payer Canada, this ailment kills 25 per cent of such men and eradicates 57 per cent of their British counterparts.

  • After major surgery, a 2003 British study found, 2.5 per cent of American patients died in the hospital versus nearly 10 per cent of similar Britons; seriously ill U.S. hospital patients die at one-seventh the pace of those in the United Kingdom.

    In addition, medicrats often distribute resources based on politics rather than science, leaving a disorganised and inefficient system for many patients, says Ridenour:

  • In usual circumstances, people over age 75 should not be accepted for treatment of end-state renal failure, according to New Zealand's official guidelines, unfortunately government controls kidney dialysis.

  • According to a Populus survey, 98 per cent of Britons want to reduce the time between diagnosis and treatment.

    For all its problems, says Ridenour, the United States' more market-friendly health system offers patients better care and would deliver greater advancements if government adopted liability reform, interstate medical insurance sales, unhindered health savings accounts and other pro-market improvements, says columnist Deroy Murdock.

    Source: Deroy Murdock, Free health care is a fatal notion,, August 28, 2006

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    FMF Policy Bulletin/ 05 September 2006
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