Issues & Insights

COVID-19 Is Killing The Case For Socialized Medicine

Health.mil

It should come as no surprise that the left has tried to use the coronavirus outbreak as evidence that the U.S. should adopt Medicare for All. But the data suggest the opposite. The U.S. is doing much better with the virus than those supposedly more enlightened countries.

If you follow the mainstream media/Democratic narrative, the pandemic has laid bare the weaknesses of the U.S. health care system.

Sarah Collins of the Commonwealth Fund, a liberal health care organization, claimed that “We are much more vulnerable to the kinds of spread of illness…. because so many people don’t have health insurance coverage in the United States. About 30 million people are currently uninsured.”

Medicare for All’s chief architect, socialist Democrat Bernie Sanders, says that “Our country is at a severe disadvantage compared to every other major country on earth because we do not guarantee health care to all people as a right.”

The left-wing “explanatory” news site Vox.com said that: “High health care costs and low medical capacity made the US uniquely vulnerable to the coronavirus.”

“Everyone working in this space would agree that no matter how you measure it, the US is far behind on this,” Jen Kates, director of global health and HIV policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told Vox.com.

But we actually have a way to compare how various countries have been dealing with the coronavirus. We can compare death rates from the virus, and deaths as a share of total population and contagion rates.

What do we find?

Nothing that those “experts” claim is true.

As of Thursday morning, the death rate from confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. is 1.45%, based on data provided by Worldometer.info. That’s well below the global average of 4.5%.

In the UK, which has the health care system of Bernie Sanders’ dreams, the death rate is almost 5%.

It’s higher than the U.S. in the Netherlands, in Sweden, in Denmark, in Switzerland.

In Italy, another country that “guarantees” health care as a right, the death rate is 10%. It’s 4% in communist China (assuming one can believe their numbers).

Admittedly, deaths per confirmed case can be biased by how confirmed cases get counted.

So what about deaths as a share of the total population? Here again, the U.S. health care system is performing better.

So far, there have been 0.33 deaths for every 100,000 Americans.

In the UK, the death rate is 0.7 per 100,000. In the Netherlands, it’s 2.5. In France, 2.0. In Sweden and Denmark, 0.7. In Switzerland, it’s 2. In Italy, the death rate is 13.6 per 100,000 people.

How about preventing the spread of the disease? Sanders and company claim that countries with universal health care will do a better job because people will get the medical attention they need without having to worry about costs.

But the U.S. outperforms most of these countries.

As of Thursday morning, there have been 22.8 confirmed cases for every 100,000 people in the U.S., but 43 in the Netherlands, 38 in France, 32 in Denmark, 135 in Switzerland.

Then there’s the claim that the U.S. was ill-prepared to deal with a pandemic.

That isn’t true either.

A report out late last year by the Nuclear Threat Initiative and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security found that the U.S. was better prepared for a pandemic than any of the other 195 countries it examined.

Out of a possible 100, the U.S. scored 83.5. The next closest was the UK at 77.9. Canada, another country touted by Medicare for All devotees, scored a 75.3.

The mantra among socialized medicine advocates is that the U.S. spends more for health care but delivers lower quality than other industrialized nations. The experience with the coronavirus is showing that the last thing we should do is import health care systems from abroad.

— Written by John Merline

We Could Use Your Help

Issues & Insights was founded by seasoned journalists from the IBD Editorials page. Our mission is to use our decades of experience to provide timely, fact-based reporting and deeply informed analysis on the news of the day.

We’re doing this on a voluntary basis because we think our approach to commentary is sorely lacking both in today’s mainstream media and on the internet. You can help us keep our mission going. If you like what you see, feel free to visit our Donations Page by clicking here. And be sure to tell your friends!

You can also subscribe to I&I: It's free!

Just enter your email address below to get started.

I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.

7 comments

  • Well, how much we spend on health care is not a good metric to determine who has the best system for healing patients. THAT is ignored, socialized medicine is the VA, centralized overloaded facilities.

    We also need to rethink public mass transit and build cities for cars, more highways and more parking.

    • Your last sentence would apply if the article was about mass transit. It’s not. And who “builds cities for cars”?

  • This is just another example of how incapable liberrhoids are of fact-based positions. For them, it’s always touchy-feely – anything that makes ’em FEEL like they’re doing good is all they need; nevermind that it’s not supported by facts. And it proves, once again, that liberalism is a mental disease – they keep trying the same thing, over and over again, expecting a different result.

  • One article after another chronicles the work of private enterprise to retool and manufacture needed supplies, donate available materials, contribute to ongoing efforts in order to rise above the crisis. Government has just discovered that its supply of masks is empty, CDC blew testing and lied to the WH. And bernie thinks he can reverse this, never having had any crisis management experience, not to mention private sector work?

  • Your analysis is lacking a time comparison factor: how long the virus has been active in the US versus other countries. The longer a country has had the virus, the more time for their death tolls to rise. Because the virus is comparatively new in the US, you will only be able to make an accurate comparison among death rates when they can be compared over an equal amount of time.
    As a result, your analysis is poorly reasoned and lacks statistical credibility.

    • Both S. Korea and the US discovered each country’s first patient on Jan. 20th. Look at how S. Korea has performed vs. the US.

  • The virus is just ramping up here. Today, we recorded more new cases, as we have for the last couple of days, than any country with the exception of 6 even have. Very soon we will have twice as many cases as China. Because we are so early in the process it is too early to talk about our outcomes. On the other hand socialist countries such as Singapore, Taiwan, and S. Korea, which are very, very well on their way to containing the virus, have infection rates and death rates much lower than ours. I noticed that you did not compare us to our neighbor to the north, Canada. Like the US it is still in the early stages of this pandemic. But it has 20% the deaths and 40% the infections per 100,000 people. What you have also left out is that we are spending $10,500 per person on healthcare. Canada, $4,974, UK, $4,077, Sweden$5,477, France, $4,934, Germany, $5,986. The next most expensive OECD country, Switzerland, spends $7,317. If these countries spent what we spent, they would be able to respond way better than they are now. They all have universal healthcare. That means that their citizens aren’t afraid that the medical bills are going to bankrupt them. We just laid off 3 million last week. This week it will be millions more. Sure, some of those people are eligible for COBRA, but can they afford the premiums? If they can, can they afford the copays? Some them will not be able to and thus seek care too late. Among those still working will be people who are sick, but can afford to not work and sure as hell can’t afford the medical bills. So sick or not, they are going to keep coming to work and keep spreading the virus. And the vast waste of the US system isn’t just bad for the under and uninsured. It hurts all businesses not in healthcare. When we spend 40, 50 or 60%more per capita than any other country it means lot of money that could be spent on cars, clothes, houses, vacations etc. is instead being eaten up the extraordinary amount of money wasted on the US healthcare system bureaucracy. It is more than all the income tax that all US corporations pay. Want to do something good for America. Start working to remove this huge burden on American companies.

  • [print-me target="#post-%ID%"]

Subscribe to Issues & Insights via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to I&I and you can receive notifications of new articles in your email. It’s simple, and free.

Join 4,153 other subscribers

Donations

If you like what you see, feel free to leave a donation. You can also set up regular donations if you like. Just click on the Tip Jar above. It will take you to a PayPal donations page. Your contributions will help us defray the cost of running this site. (Please note that we are not set up as a charitable organization, so donations aren't tax deductible.) Thank you!

About Issues & Insights

Issues & Insights is run by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our goal is to bring our decades of combined journalism experience to help readers understand the top issues of the day. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis, because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide. 

%d bloggers like this: