Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Relating to doctors, US vs. others

with 3 comments

Fascinating post at The Incidental Economist by Aaron Carroll:

It constantly amazes me how entrenched many people get in opposing health care reform. I’ve been getting a strange number of emails defending the health care spending seen in my post yesterday. Please understand, that spending is what’s bankrupting us. You can hate the PPACA, you can hate single payer, you can hate any form of government regulation at all, and stil recognize that we spend too much on health care.

But forget that for a second. Many of you are defending the high costs of our health care with the usual “wait times” meme. You defend our very, very high level of spending by accusing other systems of having long wait times. You believe that we are buying “no wait times” with our spending.


First of all, what do you mean by wait times? Perhaps it’s “do you have to wait to see a doctor when you’re sick”?

Let’s own something right up front. We beat Canada. Let me say that again: WE BEAT CANADA. There’s a reason people always cherry pick Canada to talk about wait times. But many, many other countries do better in terms of getting people in to see the doctor when they are sick.  We also do better in terms of getting people in to see specialists (although we’re not #1), and we do better in how long people need to wait to get elective surgery (which is ELECTIVE), but that’s not the same.

Here’s another telling metric, however: . . .

Continue reading, even better charts at the link.

Written by LeisureGuy

26 February 2011 at 3:09 pm

Posted in Healthcare, Medical

3 Responses

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  1. This has been a pet issue of mine for several years. The most important thing I’ve learned, however, is that a lot of Americans are impervious to facts and reason. Blind ideology governs their position on the issue, no matter what data you show them. Another thing I’ve learned is that Americans have an almost complete inability to rationally discuss–let alone solve–even the most obvious and fixable of problems, such as health care reform. We’re surrounded by examples of other nations which have solved the most egregious problems we face, but instead we have heated debates about death panels and nazis.


    26 February 2011 at 6:19 pm

  2. Well, at least Wisconsin has a governor who has located the source of those problems: unions. 🙂


    26 February 2011 at 6:28 pm

  3. I’m on the edge of my seat about it. Public opinion is against him, the demonstrations are still going very strong… but he does have the legislative muscle to pass this thing. How long can senate Democrats withhold the quorum? It’s a nail-biter!


    26 February 2011 at 6:39 pm

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