Priceless: Chapter 5 – ctd.

For reasons that will become clear next week, I’m totally swamped. Therefore, I will not be able to keep up with Austin’s relentless pace through Priceless. I feel compelled to comment on one  thing in chapter 5, however.

It’s a common trick to cherry pick one study, one year, one country, or one statistic where we shine and declare that we have the best health care system in the world. Or, to declare that because you fond a way to make the US look good, it’s “up for debate”.

With the amount we spend, it’s crazy that we can even have a discussion. We should unequivocally be number one. We’re not. The way we get to say we are is by picking one country (Canada!) where “wait times” are an issue. Or, more commonly, we pick on survival rates.

I’ve written about this over, and over, and over again. And still, people ignore what I’ve written and cite survival rates. They also do it in the same cancers (breast, prostate, colon), where they know we over-screen, and they know we focus.

That’s cherry picking.

We do not have the outcomes we want. There are any number of reasons for that, more than I have time for today.

If you want to have a debate, fine. I’ve heard you. I’ve read what you’ve written. You have cited survival rates in certain cancers. I have written my replies to these citations and explained why we are cherry picking. I’ve shown what I think are better metrics. I have not talked past you, but engaged you and your arguments. I’ve thoughtfully considered them, and responded to them in detailed point by point analysis.

Your turn.


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