Market helps sick people!

We hear much about health care — how bad it is.  Here’s good news from Wall St. Journal via The Market Center Blog:

Monday, June 19, 2006 ~ 8:55 a.m., Dan Mitchell Wrote:
American health care is much better for the genuinely sick. The US health care system is a mess, thanks to excessive government spending, foolish tax preferences, price controls, and onerous regulations. But some market forces still are allowed to operate, which is why ill people are better off in America. Writing for the Wall Street Journal, a doctor explains:

If we look at how well it serves its sick citizens, American medicine excels. Prostate cancer is a case in point. The mortality rate from prostate cancer among American men is 19%. In contrast, mortality rates are somewhat higher in Canada (25%) and much higher in Europe (up to 57% in the U.K.). And comparisons in cardiac care -- such as the recent Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada study on post-heart-attack quality of life -- find that American patients fare far better in morbidity. Say what you want about the problems of American health care:

For those stricken with serious disease, there's no better place to be than in the U.S. Socialized health-care systems fall short in these critical cases because governments strictly ration care in order to reduce the explosive growth of health spending. As a result, patients have less access to specialists, diagnostic equipment and pharmaceuticals. Economist David Henderson, who grew up in Canada, once remarked that it has the best health-care system in the world -- if you have only a cold and you're willing to wait in your family doctor's office for three hours.

But some patients have more than a simple cold -- and the long waits they must endure before they get access to various diagnostic tests and medical procedures have been documented for years. Montreal businessman George Zeliotis, for example, faced a year-long wait for a hip replacement. He sued and, as the co-plaintiff in a recent, landmark case, got the Supreme Court of Canada to strike down two major Quebec laws that banned private health insurance.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115033718636680826.html?mod=opinion &ojcontent=otep (subscription required)

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