Tuesday, August 24, 2010


The main premise behind America’s desire for healthcare reform is that our healthcare system is broken.

Reuters helps foster the insecurity with quotes such as this:

The United States, a country of 300 million people, ranks 42nd in the world in life expectancy, according to previously released data.
What if that statistic is contrived, and the overriding premise is false? What if we have a REALLY GOOD system and we end up destroying it in order to feel good about ourselves?

It takes a Canadian native and president of the Pacific Research Institute to raise the question and set the record straight. Sally Pipes does just that in her book, "The Truth About Obamacare." It is a reference book that explains the provisions of healthcare reform that our legislators didn’t have the time to review before casting their votes earlier this year.

As Reuters demonstrates, one of the primary “facts” cited to indicate that our system is broken is that American life expectancy is less than in other rich nations with government-run medical systems. Thomas Sowell references Ms. Pipes in a column today, and shows the “spin” associated with this statistic. (h/t: Urgent Agenda)

Political Calculations helps us with a convenient chart of the actual data. The chart describes the statistical influence of “non-natural causes of death” such as homicides, automobile accidents, and accidental poisonings.

It turns out that Americans rank first in life expectancy once fatal injuries are taken into account

And so the question lingers: Are deaths by vehicle accident indicative of a broken healthcare system?

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