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