The CoyoteBlog explodes the methodology of a recent study which appears to show that the health care system in the U.S. is significantly worse than other developed countries. One choice tidbit:
I have a very smart reader group, so my sense is that many of you already see the gaffe here. The author’s (sic) posit that 50% of heart disease may be due to lifestyle, though the number might be higher or lower. So to correct for this, they reduce every country’s heart disease number (IHD) by a fixed amount of 50%. WTF?? This corrects for NOTHING. All this does is reduce the weighting of IHD in the total measure.
Of course, methodology is unique to each study, so you can’t go around saying that just because these authors don’t know how to perform basic data analysis or control for variables, nobody else can, either. But there are deeper truths that he repeats in his post, which I see time and time again in refutations of similar studies which claim that the U.S. system is totally flawed and that it’s time for us to join the rest of the developed world and implement universal health care (e.g., measures of infant mortality, government as an ideally “neutral” third party in the U.S., vs. as the provider and evaluator in some other countries, higher rates of surgery per capita, etc…)
Keep these nuggets of truth in mind whenever and wherever someone brings up these arguments in the future.