Thomas Sowell

But reducing these things is not "bringing down the cost of medical care." It is simply refusing to pay those costs-- and taking the consequences.

For those who live by talking points, one of their biggest talking points is that Americans do not get any longer life span than people in other Western nations by all the additional money we spend on medical care.

Like so many clever things that are said, this argument depends on confusing very different things-- namely, "health care" and "medical care." Medical care is a limited part of health care. What we do and don't do in the way we live our lives affects our health and our longevity, in many cases more so than what doctors can do to provide medical care.

Americans have higher rates of obesity, homicide and narcotics addiction than people in many other Western nations. There are severe limits on what doctors and medical care can do about that.

If we are serious about medical care-- and we should be serious, since it is a matter of life and death-- then we should have no time for clever statements that confuse instead of clarifying.

If we want to compare the effects of medical care, as such, in the United States with that in other countries with government-run medical systems, then we need to compare things where medical care is what matters most, such as survival rates of people with cancer.

The United States has one of the highest rates of cancer survival in the world-- and for some cancers, the number one rate of survival.

We also lead the world in creating new life-saving pharmaceutical drugs. But all of this can change-- for the worse-- if we listen to clever people who think they should be running our lives.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate