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Poor U.S. Scores in Health Care Don't Measure Nobels and Innovation
While America's health care system may seem worse off than statefunded systems in Europe and Canada based on the U.S.'s higher costs and some public health measurements, Cowen warns that the reality is far more complicated because the U.S. leads the world in medical innovation, in effect underwriting global health gains.
Compared with Europe, the American system involves more tests, more procedures and more visits with specialists. Sick people receive more momentary comforts and also the sense that everything possible has been done. This feeling is of value to the family even when the patient does not improve. In contrast, European countries have not created comparably high expectations about the medical process. If we count "giving people what they would want, if they knew it was there" as one measure of medical value, the American system looks better.
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