Another Lie Joe Wilson Missed in Obama’s Health Care Speech

September 17, 2009
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Earlier this month, Rep. Joe Wilson uttered the “You Lie” shout heard around the world in response to President Obama’s claim that illegal immigrants would not be covered under the President’s plan.  To be fair, Obama may not have been talking about HR 3200.  However, if the President was referring to HR 3200, the Congressional Research Service has indicated that the bill will cover illegals.

However, there were several other “untruths” in the President’s speech.  In one part of the speech, the President claims that “We spend one-and-a-half times more per person on health care than any other country, but we aren’t any healthier for it.”  However, that depends upon how you measure “healthier”.  At best, the President was attempting to mislead the American public.

… Americans have a higher survival rate for 13 of the 16 most common forms of cancer.

While it is true that America ranks behind many other countries in life expectancy, the health care that America receives is far superior to the health care that other people on the planet enjoy.  Our system isn’t perfect, but it is by far the best by many measures.

There is a great article on Forbes.com by Marie-Josse Kravis that details some of the facts that support the claim that Americans have the best health care in the world which easily translates into the most expensive.  After all, higher quality service is more expensive that poor quality service.

The first thing to understand is that health care is only one component that determines average life expectancy.  For instance, America ranks first in road fatalities.  However, Americans also drive more that other countries.  Traffic fatalities pull down the average life expectancy.

America is also first in fat.  According to the OECD,  32.2 % of Americans are obese which reduces life expectancy.  The OCED average is 14.6% which helps explain why Americans have a lower life expectancy than many nations.  Compared to Japan’s 3% obesity rate, it is easy to see why Japan enjoys a higher life expectancy.

However, the health care system doesn’t have a major impact on obesity and little to no impact on road fatalities.  The health care system also doesn’t drastically reduce other lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol, and drug use which all reduce life expectancy.

What the health care system does impact, is survival rates of disease and injury.  For example, as the Forbes article points out “…the journal Lancet Oncology found that Americans have a higher survival rate for 13 of the 16 most common forms of cancer.”  In fact for all cancers, the U.S. mortality rate is 166.3 per 100,000 compared to the OECD average of 171.

America does need some health insurance reform to help control costs, expand coverage, and eliminate fraud and waste in the government programs.  However, we do not need a massive government plan to recreate our health care system in addition to our health insurance.

The news often reports on foreign leaders and celebrities coming to America when they face serious and life threatening health situations.  Many of those leaders are from countries that have socialized health care.  One would wonder why if those people that can afford to pay for health care would come here if the health care in their countries is better.

You can easily say that Americans pay more for their health care than many countries, but you can’t say that our health care isn’t the best.

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One Response to Another Lie Joe Wilson Missed in Obama’s Health Care Speech

  1. [...] smrtas1 presents the following articles, posted at Conservative Patriot HQ. Another Lie Joe Wilson Missed in Obama’s Health Care Speech [...]

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