Chronically wrong about what's wrong with heatlh care

  • by: |
  • 10/05/2007
I was in Israel visiting my son and had limited access to news and the internet. Of course I return to see the Yankees took a pounding and the same sloppy causality that fits pre-existing biases in health exist.

Leave to Health Despairs to claim that the major reason the US spends more on health care is because we are sicker. Confusing diagnosis (which is a function of being able to see a doctor multiplied by what the doctor can do time what the doctor gets paid for) for prevalence Ken Thorpe et al. claim that at least part of the underlying difference in prevalence is poorer health status. Really? He goes on to estimate that the prevalence of diagnosed cancer was 12.2 percent in the United States but only 5.4 percent in Europe in 2004. A huge difference. Even Thorpe has to write: "Are Americans really more likely to develop malignant tumors, or are they just screened more intensely than Europeans are? Comparisons of breast cancer screening rates and five-year cancer survival rates suggest the latter"

So of course I and Marc Siegel, who wrote just a brilliant op-ed in the NY Post that puts a human face on all this, (namely, there is widespread rationing plus a conservatism and passivity in European patients you woud NEVER see here or in Israel for that matter) get emails from ABC news asking about the Health Affairs piece about why Americas are sicker than Europeans....

Why not just do a re-run of Sicko and get it over with instead of looking at the facts.

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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