Plenty to Lose

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Jan 08, 2010 4:32 PM
As the Democrats continue to push forward their plans to "change" US health care forever, Mark Constantian's piece in today's Wall Street Journal documents just what, exactly, the US has to lose:

[C[ardiac deaths in the U.S. have fallen by two-thirds over the past 50 years. Polio has been virtually eradicated. Childhood leukemia has a high cure rate. Eight of the top 10 medical advances in the past 20 years were developed or had roots in the U.S. 

The Nobel Prizes in medicine and physiology have been awarded to more Americans than to researchers in all other countries combined. Eight of the 10 top-selling drugs in the world were developed by U.S. companies. The U.S. has some of the highest breast, colon and prostate cancer survival rates in the world. And our country ranks first or second in the world in kidney transplants, liver transplants, heart transplants, total knee replacements, coronary artery bypass, and percutaneous coronary interventions.

In fact, Constantian points out, the US is ranked #1 by the World Health Organization for "responsiveness to the needs and choices of the individual patient."  In other words, our health care system does the best job in the world at serving individual people.

Is there anyone who believes this quality will improve as the government takes over?  Government is about collectivity, not about individuals.  So even if the "the system" as defined by some faceless bureaucrat supposedly improves (a dubious proposition in itself) it's highly unlikely that any of us will experience anything remotely approaching improvement in the fulfillment of our own, personal health care needs.