OCTS original reporting, June 24, 2014
The Commonwealth Fund recently placed the United States last on its annual ranking of healthcare among 11 top industrialized nations, spurring a number of predictable headlines critical of American health care. The study’s lead author takes pains to praise Obamacare for improving America’s future prospects in their ranking.
Who scored best? The top rating went to the U.K. Ah the shame of it, bested by our former masters, right?
But wait–according to the O.E.C.D. (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), the U.K. is the last place you want to be if you’ve got cancer or heart disease, the industrialized world’s two leading causes of death.
Shouldn’t the most important measure of medical care, for any given person, be what your health outcome is likely to be if you get sick?
Yet in fact, the Commonwealth Fund’s top rating went to a system where 25,000+ mostly elderly people die of cold every winter, a system with among the worst medical outcomes in Europe, a system where over 1,000 patients die of dehydration each month in NHS hospitals. The authors stipulate that the British system is “lagging notably on health outcomes,” yet they gave it their top honors.
So, by this study’s reckoning, a country where the elderly and sick fare worst, rates best.
If those are the measures, count me last. Please.
 “Andrew Harrop, Head of Public Policy for Age Concern and Help the Aged, said: “These figures are extremely worrying and certainly suggest that the additional death toll due to exceptionally cold weather this winter is likely to top last year’s total of 36,700 people.”
 “British cancer and heart attack victims are more likely to die than almost anywhere in the developed world” … “Britain performed only marginally better than former Communist states”
 “At least 1,000 hospital patients are dying needlessly each month from dehydration and poor care by doctors and nurses, according to an NHS study.”