Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Some critics have said America has the best health care in the world ... 

Part of President Bush's State of the Union Address I wanted to agree with completely was "By keeping costs under control, expanding access, and helping more Americans afford coverage, we will preserve the system of private medicine that makes America's health care the best in the world."

I certainly agree that we should deal with out-of-control health care costs and expand access, but if America already has the "best" health care in the world, how can it be that the CIA Factbook ranks the following 28 nations as having both a lower infant mortality rate than the US and a longer life expectancy at birth than the US?

  1. Andorra
  2. Macau
  3. San Marino
  4. Japan
  5. Singapore
  6. Australia
  7. Switzerland
  8. Sweden
  9. Hong Kong
  10. Canada
  11. Iceland
  12. Italy
  13. Monaco
  14. Liechtenstein
  1. Spain
  2. France
  3. Norway
  4. Greece
  5. Aruba
  6. Netherlands
  7. Malta
  8. New Zealand
  9. Belgium
  10. Austria
  11. United Kingdom
  12. Germany
  13. Finland
  14. Luxembourg

Some critics have said a government-run health care system is the wrong prescription. This particular criticism is hard to explain to our friends in Britain, Australia, Japan, Andorra, Macau, Finland, Italy, Spain, Singapore, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Canada, the Netherlands (Applause) ... Norway, Iceland, and the 17 other countries where socialized medicine provides longer life-expectancies (Applause), and the 18 other countries where state run heath systems ensure a lower infant mortality rate than we enjoy. (Long Applause.)

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