World Health Report 2000: Still the Worst Study Ever

April 14, 2011
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Writing in Commentary magazine, Scott Atlas revisits the Worst Study Ever.  During the health reform debate no doubt you heard pundits mention that the U.S. Health Care System ranked 37th over all — just below Costa Rica and only slightly above Slovenia and Cuba. The source of this claim is a World Health Organization (WHO) report released a decade ago.

Writing in Commentary magazine, Scott Atlas revisits the Worst Study Ever.  During the health reform debate no doubt you heard pundits mention that the U.S. Health Care System ranked 37th over all — just below Costa Rica and only slightly above Slovenia and Cuba. The source of this claim is a World Health Organization (WHO) report released a decade ago. The World Health Report 2000 ranked nearly 200 nations on their health care systems.

The research was designed in such a way to elevate socialized health care systems funded with tax dollars higher in the rankings than those countries relying on a mix of public and private coverage. According to Atlas:

A matter-of-fact endorsement of wealth redistribution and centralized administration should have had nothing to do with WHO’s assessment of the actual quality of health care. For the authors of the study, the policy recommendation preceded the research.

The study’s failings were plain from the outset and remain patently obvious; but they went unnoticed, unmentioned, and unexamined because World Health Report 2000 was so politically useful.

Interestingly, when billionaire Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi needed heart surgery, he left from Italy (ranked No. 2) and flew over France (ranked No. 1) and other countries that ranked higher than the United States in order to have surgery at the Cleveland Clinic.

   

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