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Argument: High US health care costs are not attributable to poor American health

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Paul Krugman, Robin Wells. "The Health Care Crisis and What to Do About It". New York Times Review of Books. Volume 53, Number 5 ยท March 23, 2006 - "One might argue that the US health care system actually provides better care than foreign systems, but that the effects of this superior care are more than offset by unhealthy US lifestyles. Ezra Klein of The American Prospect calls this the "well-we-eat-more-cheeseburgers" argument. But a variety of evidence refutes this argument. The data in Table 1 show that the United States does not stand out in the quantity of care, as measured by such indicators as the number of physicians, nurses, and hospital beds per capita. Nor does the US stand out in terms of the quality of care: a recent study published in Health Affairs that compared quality of care across advanced countries found no US advantage. On the contrary, "the United States often stands out for inefficient care and errors and is an outlier on access/cost barriers."[2] That is, our health care system makes more mistakes than those of other countries, and is unique in denying necessary care to people who lack insurance and can't pay cash."

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