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 Myths Debunked:
Americans Have the Best Health Care in the World



Chicago Tribune

Health care in France gets top marks Quality praised, even as some lament costs
Chicago Tribune; Chicago, Ill.; Jul 8, 2001; Ray Moseley, Tribune foreign correspondent

The World Health Organization in Geneva rates national health systems by a variety of criteria, and on all scales France is among the world's leaders.

U.S. ranks 37th

In overall performance--relating achievement to expenditure-- France ranks No. 1 in the world, the U.S. 37th. All 15 nations of the European Union, with similar systems, fare better than the U.S. in the WHO ratings--even Britain, whose underfunded system is widely criticized in Europe.

All are based on the premise that every resident is guaranteed the same quality of health care, by contrast with the U.S., where 40 million people have no health insurance.

This represents a major philosophical and cultural difference between Europe and the U.S., and whether Americans would ever accept such a concept is open to debate. A bill expanding the rights of patients in dealing with their health insurers recently passed the Senate but faces an uncertain future in the House. Former President Bill Clinton's ambitious universal health-care plan died in Congress in 1994.

Read Cheryl Seal's article at  The Myth of American Health Care: The Lies that Are Killing Us

The U.S. ranks

NUMBER ONE in COST of health care, but
NUMBER 24 in disability-adjusted life expectancy, and
NUMBER 37 in the overall performance of its medical system and
NUMBER 40 in the level of satisfaction recipients express for their care

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Last changed: December 13, 2009