The Deflated One
Twice the Pain

The Cost of Public Health Care

Gary Becker via Greg Mankiw:

One way to separate health care from personal behavior is to consider survival from serious diseases, such as various cancers and cardiovascular diseases. In my post on health care on June 7 of this year I referred to a study published in Lancet in 2007 that compares five-year cancer survival rates for the US, the United Kingdom, and the European Union as a whole. The study examines early diagnosis, early treatment, and access to the best drugs, and finds that the United States does very well on all three criteria. As a result, five-year cancer survival rates are much better in the US: they are about 65% for both men and women, whereas they are much lower in these other countries, especially for men.

European countries have to ration their supply -- which means, that relative to the US, less people receive treatment. Such a result is, of course, consistent with the law of supply and demand.


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