Thursday, November 14, 2013

Health care

Health care, education, infant mortality, you name it and somebody is going to say that the US is deficient. That is statistically true, no mistake.

Articles will be written like this:

The writer who "discovers" the truth about some of these things is revered by her peers, a real sleuth, an investigative reporter. But you know what they tend to miss? They tend to miss the diversity of the US versus the ones under comparison--Japan, Sweden, for instance, have homogeneous populations with shared cultural mores. We don't.

The writer contends that medicine in the US is not the best and is, in fact terrible. How can you look at anything with open eyes and say that? Why do people from all over the world come here for treatment? When I had heart surgery, I didn't go to India. Or Costa Rica. But, you know, it may come to that.

Medicare now pays so little and denies the physician the right to ask for more from other insurance or the patient that it is often 10% of the asked-for fee. I looked at the fees for recent knee surgery, and it was appallingly low. How can they keep the doors open? Especially the orthopedic surgeons are heading to Costa Rica.

But stating in the article that there is a difference between Mississippi and New York/Colorado but not connecting the dots to show a picture is just negligent...and worrisome.

Yes, China and India have lots of smart people. Think of it, if intelligence is measured by IQ, and you assume that the top quartile must be the smart ones, it is kind of overwhelming to realize that the top quartile in China outnumber the whole population of the US. Same for India. But where do things like Facebook, Microsoft, etc. come from?

Education--it is apples and oranges to compare the Brits or the Germans with the US. Yes, they do a lot of things better, but when you are only measuring their best and brightest against our total student population, it isn't a correct measurement. That isn't to say that US education is without problems, because it is. Why else do people send their kids to private schools? Because educating only to the lowest common denominator isn't fair to the brighter kids.

When someone badmouths the US, remember to analyze the data points and the political slant of the author.

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