[ExI] Single Payer Healthcare

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Tue Mar 28 15:52:19 UTC 2017

On Mar 28, 2017, at 8:24 AM, John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 10:56 AM, Dylan Distasio <interzone at gmail.com> wrote:
>> ​> ​but I do not think it is a fact that single payer healthcare systems "work great." 
> ​30 countries spend about half what the USA does on healthcare and they live longer, a logical person with no ax to grind would have to admit that's pretty great compared with the USA. ​ 
>> ​> ​Do you think that the UK's single payer system is working great? 
> ​Yes.​
>> ​> ​If so, what dispassionate metrics are you basing this on?
> ​The average UK citizen lives to be 81.2 years old and spends  $4003 a year on healthcare, the average USA citizen lives to be 79.3 years old and spends $9451 on healthcare.
>> I think you are heavily discounting the rationing effect that is part and parcel of any single payer plan. 
> ​Rationing be damned. The bottom line is they spend less than half as much and live longer. ​If a theory doesn't fit the facts it must be abandoned. No exceptions.

Wouldn't one approach to teasing out causation here to be to ask about how life expectancy changed and differed between these nations over time? It might be, for example, that nation X has always had a longer life expectancy than nation Y -- regardless of adopting different healthcare policies. (You'd probably have to factor in the two world wars, which definitely had an impact on life expectancy in many nations, so data from the 01910s and 01940s would have to be handled with care. Maybe start with 01950. UK's NHS only came into play in the late 1940s, so it seems a natural place to start, no? Well, for UK-US comparisons.)

If you don't do historical trend, then you run the risk of comparing unlike to unlike.

Also, what about nations that have lower life expectancy than the US? Do they all lack single payer systems? 


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