Roger Lott (my son) v. Barack Obama
Another view of his question can be seen here:
The Delaware County Times wrote a little bit about Roger's question to Obama:
It was when Obama pointed to a red-headed kid in a white T-shirt up in the corner of the gym that things got interesting. A titter went through the student section. Apparently, from where Obama was standing, he couldn’t see the kid was wearing a “Ron Paul for President” T-shirt.
The kid didn’t identify himself, but said he was concerned about any government-run health-care system modeled on anything like the Europeans use. He said his own grandmother died in Sweden because she couldn’t easily get the kind of treatment readily available in this country.
Obama was handling the kid’s question with aplomb until he closed with this: “I’m not advocating a government-run system, right now.”
Not right now? And that means, what? Not until after the election? Or sometime into his second term? Some clever Republican ad guy could have a field day with that clip.
But the best stuff came after Obama signed off. . . .
Turned out the kid with the red hair is named Roger Lott. His dad is John Lott, the conservative economist who wrote “More Guns, Less Crime.”
His mom has her Ph.D. in economics, too. I asked Roger what his dad makes of his Ron Paul thing. He said his pop has “some concerns”” about candidate Paul. What a relief! . . .
Personally, I didn't think that Obama did a very good job answering Roger's question. 1) The fact of rationing by governments when they pay for health care is well known. When you give something away for free people will want to use a lot more of it than you have. Having very few MRIs or long waits for surgery is very common. 2) The notion that the government can provide these services more efficiently wasn't credible. Whether it is education or mail delivery, is there a case that one can point to where given the same services and regulatory burden that the public sector provides the service at a lower cost? 3) The life expectancy comparisons between the US and Sweden were particularly poorly done. Life expectancy and childhood mortality rates depends on many things such as the behavior of the patients. If people use drugs or engage in other dangerous behavior while pregnant, you will have more problems of different types. Comparing infant mortality rates or life expectancy of whites in the US and whites in Sweden shows that the US does quite well.
UPDATE: I have gotten some emails asking about Roger's grandmother, his mom's mom, who died in Sweden. His grandmother was complaining of abdominal pain and got an appointment with a GP. The GP set up an appointment with a specialist, but she had to wait about three months before the first opening was available. The week before her appointment with the specialist she had to be rushed to a hospital for emergency surgery because the tumor that was producing her pain was blocking her small intestines. After the surgery, it took 8 months before she was able to get an MRI (to speed things up we offered to pay for an MRI in the US, but Swedish doctors would not approve her travel because they said she was too ill). After her MRI, it took another 7 months before her chemo started. By that time though there was apparently little that they could do to help her.