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Quote: I'm not against health insurance reform. I said that from the get-go. However, those numbers in that table can be misleading because they don't tell the whole picture.
I remember, glad we agree that we are both open to health insurance reform in the U.S. Also agree that the numbers in that table doesn't tell the whole picture. But I think of them as raw data, they need to be interpreted, as you have started doing
Quote: I've seen a comment or two wowing about Mexico's health care system. I'm not here to disparage their health care system, but their infant mortality rate per 1,000 is over four times that of the U.S. Now the U.S. is double that of Japan, which I also find quite shocking. I wonder if that may be attributable to the lifestyle of the mother or both the mother and the father. While the Netherlands, Canada, and Japan have longer lifespans, it is not that surprising. I guess what I'm wondering is if this has more to do with lifestyle (e.g. diet, exercise, reliance on self, etc.) than medical systems. I mean, I am of the impression that folks from Japan and the Netherlands are overall more active than those of the U.S. I also have the impression that most Japanese maintain a rather healthy diet (at least in contrast to the Standard American Diet). I suppose something similar must hold true for Canada as three years of additional life is pretty significant.
Totally agree that socio-economic conditions in a country are critical to look at when trying to make sense of some of the statistics and data, and that we must consider & discuss other factors
I'm definitely not one to say that we should adopt Mexico's (for example) health care policies, but we should be asking why they are spending so much less per capita than we are, (about one-ninth) and still getting comparable results
One of the BIG reasons that I see, is that they get the same drugs that are produced in the US, but pay way, way less
(I checked the scene from the DVD of "Critical Condition" that I mentioned, and I got the numbers from memory wrong, it was worse, Carlos bought his AS medicine from the Mexican pharmacy for $3.50, same medicine that he paid $100 for in Los Angeles!!)
And I believe that the reason for that kind of story happening is because of collusion on the part of our pharmaceutical countries, and the insurance companies function as a monopoly here, because they still enjoy being protected as getting an exemption from our anti-trust laws, as established in the afore-mentioned McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945 (google-able for the details)
Other countries that buy the drugs produced in this country, don't have that restriction, the price they pay benefits from their government negotiations, ironically of course, because we are supposed to be the ones with the "free-market" capitalist system (that's one of the reasons why Canada has such a big mail-order business of selling US made drugs to Americans)
Quote: While I don't doubt that access to health insurance has some influence on these figures, I find it hard to draw conclusions based on the information presented.
Agreed there too. And while it would have been easy to do so, I didn't want to look for a chart that ignored some of the other relevant numbers, do like a "Michael Moore" version of it, simply omit the column with the number of birth fatalities, just quote some of the numbers from the chart. It would still have been technically true and accurate, more persuasive to the cause of US health reform, but THAT, I would have considered to be misleading