Stossel discusses Canada's health care system


Blogger Jorge ValĂ­n said...


9/05/2009 3:54 PM  
Blogger juandos said...


According to the Salt Lake Tribune we have this: Canada denies health care debacle

9/06/2009 4:35 AM  
Blogger Pundit said...

Yes it would be "excellent" and "heroic" if this piece had anything to do with any serious healthcare reform proposals for the US. "Cheap shot" or "irrelevent" or "filled with half-truths" would be more accurate.

I'd say it's astonishingly biased, but for Stossel "unbalanced" is a better term.

John, I hope you will remember this example in your ongoing campaign about the "liberal" bias in the mainstream media.

9/07/2009 2:20 PM  
Blogger TooMuchTime said...

Actually, Pundit, it does have to do with the healthcare "reform" proposed for this country. The Canadian and British systems are held up as models to emulate by the very people that want to "reform" the U.S. health care industry.

Fortunately, they are not worth emulating. No government run program will ever do as well as those run by a competitive free market. Since gov't has no profit motive, they will undercharge anyone still in the free market. When the gov't gets total market share, costs will be cut by making massive cuts in services. That is a rather interesting thing; when the gov't drives out any competition, costs aren't an issue.

Socialism is bad for your health.

9/08/2009 2:07 PM  
Blogger Pundit said...

Sorry TooMuchTime, you are wrong.

Stossel chose to paint a big scary picture of the horrible things that are wrong with systems that are nothing like what is actually being proposed.

Stossel could have addressed specific proposals made by any number of right, left, or center politicians, but he didn't. He could have talked about market-based reforms. He could have even talked about tort reform. (I'm kind of surprised he didn't go after tort reform... it's pretty rare for Stossel to pass up a chance to show us his shock and dismay and raise his eyebrows in disingenuous incredulity at outrageous jury awards.)

Obviously Stossel is only interested in making points that can be plastered on bumper stickers like "Socialism is bad for your health." And when that's the case, little things like truth and accuracy apparently don't matter.

9/08/2009 5:34 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Pundit:

What exactly did Stossel say that was wrong? You talked about being specific, but I am not sure what you say that is specific.

9/08/2009 5:57 PM  
Blogger Pundit said...

I didn't say that Stossel said anything "wrong"... what I said was that it was "unbalanced"... and by that I meant that it was both highly skewed and irrational. It has nothing to do with any serious policy proposal in this country and it does not present an accurate picture of healthcare in Canada.

But since you asked, take five minutes to Google Canadian health stats. The Canadian government publishes data like wait times on the Internet here. Stossel claims that the average wait time for an admission 23 hours, but he cites no source. These published statistics show that 87 percent of ED admissions get a bed in 12 hours or less.

(It doesn't provide an overall average wait time, but I did the math. Assuming that for each range of wait times we use the high end of the range, to get to a 23 hour average, 4 percent of Canadians admitted to the hospital would have had to wait for over 18 days for a bed. If that were the case, don't you think Stossel would have lead his story off with those people?)

It took me five minutes to find that data. It took me longer to remember how to HTML code the link to the page than it did to find the data. And as you can see there are hundreds of stats about Canadian healthcare. Stossel only cited one statistic and I proved it false in five minutes. If Canadian healthcare is so awful, why can't he come up with an argument based in facts?

The "experts" Stossel cites are Sally Pipes, head of a conservative "think tank," and David Grazter, the source of Rudy Giuliani's phony cancer statistics. He could have done a story on healthcare reform and gotten any number of credible critics and these are his experts???

Come on, John. There is plenty to debate about healthcare and healthcare reform in this country, but seriously... are we going look to smarmy John Stossel for information? Puh-leez.

9/08/2009 9:30 PM  

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