Tuesday, September 01, 2009

His Pants Are On Fire

Repub Senators Kit Bond of Missouri, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and John McCain of Arizona visited Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri on August 31 for a non-town hall meeting on health care. Though the appearance was by invitation only, the media was invited and they got a decent photo-op out of it.

Senate Minority Leader McConnell alleged a public option would destroy the insurance business and "then the doctors and hospitals will be working for the government.” Reportedly, he whined "nothing makes me more angry… than the suggestion that America does not already have the finest health care in the world."

Of course, the public option as contemplated by the United States Congress and/or President Obama would not be accompanied by federal government employment of doctors or management of hospitals, a practice of England's National Health Service, which has not yet destroyed that country.

If you had received nearly four million dollars from the health care industry, you, too, would be "angry" if your generous benefactors faced the possibility of being inconvenienced by reform.

But what to make of John McCain's claim in Kansas City that "the quality of health care in America is the best in the world?" He might not be aware of Japan. Or Australia. Or Greece. Or Austria. But surely Senator McCain has heard of the usual suspects- Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom.

The quality of health care in the United States may have improved relative to that in other nations since the World Health Organization in 2000 conducted its last analysis of care systems worldwide. Perhaps if the W.H.O. were to survey systems in those 190 countries today, and gave greater emphasis to the variables in which the U.S.A. is particularly strong, our nation would rank higher than #37, as we did nine years ago. But 36 spots higher? Not likely.

Senator John McCain says the health care system in the United States is "the best in the world." Not good. Not among the best. The best.

It is untrue. He knows it is untrue. There is a word for that. You know what it is.

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