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US Residents Often Ignore Problems With Government-Run Health Care Systems

Armen Hareyan's picture

The "biggest of the big lies in the health care hype is that a lack ofinsurance means a lack of medical care," and the "second-biggest lie isthat health care and medical care are the same thing," Thomas Sowell, asenior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, writes in a Baltimore Sunopinion piece. Sowell continues that physicians "cannot stop" peoplefrom "ruining [their] health in a hundred different ways, so statisticson everything from infant mortality and AIDS are not proof of a needfor government to take over medical treatment."

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He writes, "Fewpeople show the slightest interest in what has happened in countrieswith government-controlled medical care," adding that "people in thosecountries" spend "months" on waiting lists for medical care "thatAmericans get just by picking up a phone and making an appointment." Inaddition, it is "amazing how many people seem uninterested in suchthings as why so many doctors in Britain are from Third World countrieswith lower medical standards -- or why people from Canada come to theUnited States for medical treatment that they could get cheaper athome," Sowell writes.

According to Sowell, "price controls onpharmaceutical drugs are more of the same illusion of something fornothing." He writes, "People who are urging us to follow othercountries that control the prices of medications seem uninterested inthe fact that those countries depend on the United States to createdrugs, after they destroyed incentives to do so in their own countries"(Sowell, Baltimore Sun, 9/5).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.