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The British government is so pathetic that is recently struck back at people in the US for criticizing the NHS (National Health Service) they have in the UK. You figure they'd have more important work, like you know, governing their country (imagine the US government taking out adds to get back at British politicians and media for their shit-stalking. It would never happen). British people can apparently bash our healthcare system, but we can't bash theirs. Typical British double standard, not to mention they accused people in the US of lying while the British themselves do nothing but lie about the US healthcare system, including in the very same article in which they make their accusations against Americans.
But British media went as far as saying "How dare the Republicans bad-mouth our free health care system?" Well, that's because your system deserves to be bad-mouthed, and it's actually YOU Limeys with your terrible healthcare that shouldn't badmouth ours.
The Britain Department of Health identified 3 major supposed proofs that it's healthcare system is better; per capita spending on healthcare, lower infant mortality, and longer life expectancy. Let's address these one by one.
----- Per capita spending ------
It's true the US spends more on healthcare, but a large reason for that is that we lead the world in biotechnology research and development spending. The US by itself represents 78% of global biotechnology spending.
We're footing everyone else's bill in developing drugs, procedures equipment etc... Europe as a whole, which is both larger in population and has a higher GDP, only chips in for 16% of global biotechnology spending. This means that countries around the world and in Europe avoid the costly R&D expenses, and can just buy the refined drug or equipment down the line after it has already been developed. Almost all the major modern drugs and high-end equipment used in modern hospitals were developed in the US. This makes it cheaper for foreign companies and governments to buy them, because the US is essentially subsidizing their healthcare. They avoid the major expenses by only paying for the goods once they've become manufactured and economies of scale make them cheaper.
----- Infant mortality -----
First off, infant mortality is not only affected by healthcare. One can't say "we have lower infant mortality, therefore our healthcare is superior". Healthcare is affected by several factors, including race.
- 34% or about 1/3rd of the US is composed of minorities.
Most of these minorities are Blacks and Hispanics, 13% and 12.5% of the population respectively:
- Only 7.9% (1/13th) of the UK population is composed of minorities:
Most of these minorities are Asians, who usually perform better than even whites in infant mortality, life expectancy etc...
African Americans have an infant mortality rate of 14.1/1000
Other minorities as well have a much higher infant mortality rate than whites.
Brits might say something like, "if these minorities were in the UK, they'd have lower infant mortality rate than they do in the US because our healthcare is free for all" but they'd be WRONG.
Infant mortality in the UK in 2006 was http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4850986.stm" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">5.2/1000, which is lower than the US average. However, if you look at the areas of the UK with a high infant mortality (same link), it is MUCH higher where there are more minorities. Central Birmingham, which has a relatively large minority population of 29.7% (lower than the US average still), scored at 12.4/1000.
Infant mortality in this case is relative to RACE, not the ability of the country to create a favorable atmosphere for infant survivability. The UK scores better only because it has much, much less minorities, specifically blacks. People who say that infant mortality rates prove the US healthcare system is bad or treats minorities poorly is purely PROPAGANDA. The British officials know they are being deceptive, but they do it anyway.
If the UK's healthcare was really superior and that was the cause for its infant mortality rates being lower, it wouldn't have such low infant mortality among minorities.
------ Life expectancy ------
Again, life expectancy is heavily affected by other factors, someone can not say that higher life expectancy automatically means the healthcare is superioer.
When you remove factors that are unrelated to healthcare from the equation, Americans actually have the longest life expectancy in the western world
Now, let's show where you can actually measurably compare healthcare quality... survivability from treatable diseases.
Cancer for example...
The US is better at treating cancer than any other western country, including the UK (who itself scores among the worst in Europe).
Cancer Survival Rates
US females: 62.9%
US males: 66.3%
UK females: 51.45%
UK males: 43.7%
(averaged between England, Scotland, Wales, and N. Ireland)
The disparity between the US and the UK in infant mortality and life expectancy is far lower than than the disparity in cancer survival. And the thing is, survival from cancer ACTUALLY COMPARES the quality of our systems.
The US is measurably superior to everyone else, including the UK, in treating cancer (and basically all other treatable disease). The reason?
The US is superior in that Americans, EVEN THE UNINSURED, are screened more regularly, and once diagnosed have the fastest access to the best, most high-end treatments and drugs.
Our healthcare system is actually better at measurably, quantifiably saving lives.
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