'May you live in interesting times' - an ancient Chinese curse that people understand more deeply as they get older.
First, there is this very nice apology for how the US health care system stacks up to those of Europe, and why the most commonly cited statistic - life expectancy - is stacked against the USA:
Americans (US, not Canadians) pay more than other countries for our health care, but the data Chapman reviews suggests that we get what we pay for - the best cancer and heart care in the western world. This is not a fact trumpeted by the advocates of health care reform.
More ironically, while many are concerned that opposing health care reform might get them reported to the White House and added to the 'enemies list', it is pretty clear that criticizing the NHS is regarded as somewhere between disloyal and treason.
I especially liked this quote:
"If 80% of Americans are getting better health care than we are in the UK then we ought to ask why, and we ought to ask how are we going to deliver equally good results."
which speaks for itself. The performance of the NHS is clearly an issue in UK politics, far more so than most proponents of health care reform in the US acknowledge.
The most troublesome thread in the BBC story is the outrageous deceptions perpetrated by parties on both sides of this debate - in the UK! In that sense, the US and UK political systems are alike.
In follow-up to my recent posts about the black market in organs, there is this news item from today:
I have no way of verifying the facts of this story, or following up on the allegations. This story names names. It would seem as if several regulatory bodies would now have an imperative to conduct an investigation of some sort.
Finally, on a lighter note, some scientists have a great sense of humor: