Friday, December 5, 2008

Health Care Kerfufle II

Ezra Klein continues:

In concert with Andrew's thesis, Britain does indeed have a high rate of amenable deaths. Just not higher than ours. in 2002-2003, Britain suffered 102.81 amenable deaths per 100,000, citizens. America suffered 109.65. This doesn't totally eviscerate Andrew's assertion of cultural difference. It may be that Brits believe they should endure that many preventable deaths while Americans don't believe that but have such a bad health care system that they nevertheless beat out the Brits. But either way, the difference between the American and British health care systems is not that we are enjoying timely and lifesaving interventions while they are forgoing them.

Emphasis mine; the statistics are the most important thing.

In fact, it proves Sullivan's hypothesis that the British are willing to put up with bad healthcare more than Americans. But clearly, Americans would only revolt against the British Healthcare system at a slightly less urgent rate than they're revolting against the current system.

But if Andrew Sullivan praises our right to demand better healthcare, then he shouldn't be surprised that we want to radically change our system. After all, the countries with bigger declines in the amenable death rate are countries like Japan, France, and Australia. If our choice--i.e. the free market--were really improving our healthcare system, then why wouldn't our health rate be continuing to fall?

Second point, from The Reaction:

Consider the following from the MinnPost:

UnitedHealth to sell insurance policies that insure individuals against becoming uninsurable

This links to the following at The New York Times:

UnitedHealth to Insure the Right to Insurance

Basically, health insurance has proven so reliable at falling through for those who need it, that Americans are lining up to insure themselves from insurers.