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Thursday, October 14, 2004

Health care in the debate

Date: October 14 2004
Sent to but not published by Boston Globe

Mr Bush made a major misleading statement in the debate last evening when he said that "... government-run health will lead to poor quality health, will lead to rationing, will lead to less choice."

The fact is that the data show something very different. A useful indicator of the quality of health care is the infant mortality rate. In the US this is 6.6 deaths per 1000 live births. In Canada where health care is run by the provinces, the rate is 4.8 deaths per 1000 live births. In the UK where the central government pays for health care, the rate is 5.2. In Scandinavia the rate ranges from 2.8 (Sweden) to 4.6 (Denmark).

The fact is that for some people, US health care is the best in the world; for others, it is totally inadequate. Rationing of health care in the US is accomplished by the ability to pay.

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