Any American who travels to Europe as I just did is likely to get hit with the argument that the United States is inhumane because the government does not "guarantee" access to health care. But look at the result of nationalized health care systems. Care may be guaranteed, but what kind of care? In Great Britain, for instance, the government's tender-loving care leaves thousands of cancer patients to die unnecessarily. Reports the Times of London:
Up to 11,000 lives a year could be saved if cancer survival rates in Britain were up with the best in Europe, campaigners will say today. England, Scotland and Wales lag behind most other European countries for survival rates for the disease, something the Government says is due in part to patients not noticing the warning signs of cancer, and to late diagnosis by doctors. Researchers examined figures for 39 types of cancer and said that 6,535 lives could be saved every year if survival rates were as good as the European average, while there would be 10,774 fewer deaths if Britain matched the best survival rates. Today's study was commissioned by Cancer Research UK and the National Cancer Director, Mike Richards, to coincide with the National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative, a campaign to raise awareness of cancer symptoms among doctors and the public. Michel Coleman, the lead researcher, said: “Many cases of cancer are being diagnosed too late in Britain and this is a major reason for our poor survival rates.”Yes, the U.S. system is a mess. But turning health care over to government will give us far worse care, and probably at higher cost.