Thursday, October 25, 2007

So health care for the poor is better in England and Canada? Guess again

Post below lifted from Chris Reed. See the original for links

From a new study by Princeton scholars:
This paper reexamines differences found between income gradients in American and English children's health, in results originally published by Case, Lubotsky and Paxson (2002) for the US, and by Currie, Shields and Wheatley Price (2007) for England. We find that, when the English sample is expanded by adding three years of data, and is compared to American data from the same time period, the income gradient in children's health increases with age by the same amount in the two countries.

In addition, we find that Currie, Shields and Wheatley Price's measures of chronic conditions from the Health Survey of England were incorrectly coded. Using correctly coded data, we find that the effects of chronic conditions on health status are larger in the English sample than in the American sample, and that income plays a larger role in buffering children's health from the effects of chronic conditions in England.

We find no evidence that the British National Health Service, with its focus on free services and equal access, prevents the association between health and income from becoming more pronounced as children grow older.

Got that? Poor kids fare better in the U.S. system, with all its flaws, than in England with its single-payer system. Oh, but that's England! Canada is what we want to be like! Michael Moore says so! It must be true. Guess again. Here's the summary of a new study by Baruch College scholars:
Does Canada's publicly funded, single payer health care system deliver better health outcomes and distribute health resources more equitably than the multi-payer heavily private U.S. system? We show that the efficacy of health care systems cannot be usefully evaluated by comparisons of infant mortality and life expectancy. We analyze several alternative measures of health status using JCUSH (The Joint Canada/U.S. Survey of Health) and other surveys.

We find a somewhat higher incidence of chronic health conditions in the U.S. than in Canada but somewhat greater U.S. access to treatment for these conditions. Moreover, a significantly higher percentage of U.S. women and men are screened for major forms of cancer. Although health status, measured in various ways is similar in both countries, mortality/incidence ratios for various cancers tend to be higher in Canada. The need to ration resources in Canada, where care is delivered "free", ultimately leads to long waits. In the U.S., costs are more often a source of unmet needs.

We also find that Canada has no more abolished the tendency for health status to improve with income than have other countries. Indeed, the health-income gradient is slightly steeper in Canada than it is in the U.S.

Got that? Poor people fare slightly better in the U.S. health system than they do in the Canadian system. On a scale of 0 to 100, relevance of these studies to the U.S. health debate: 100.

On a scale of 0 to 100, the likelihood they ever will become part of the U.S. health debate: 0. Just wonderful.

NOTE: The Canadian study above does have some problems. See here. But when one of Canada's leading Leftist politicians goes to the USA for medical treatment that probably tells us more than any statistics. And Stronach is one of many Canadians who go to the USA for treatment that they cannot get in Canada

Man rips out teeth with pliers to beat NHS wait

He was in pain from toothache but was told to wait 3 weeks before he could be treated

A BRITISH man has pulled out seven of his own teeth because he was told to wait three weeks for an appointment to see a National Health Service dentist. Taxi driver Arthur Haupt used pliers and a technique he had learned in the army to carry out the DIY dentistry. He couldn't afford the $170 per tooth treatment he was quoted by a private practice.

"If you can't get anyone else to take your teeth out, you take them out yourself, don't you?" said Mr Haupt, 67, from Melton, in Leicestershire in England's east Midlands. "When they told me to fill out a form and how long I would have to wait I said, 'I've got gob ache now, not in three weeks time'.


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