Dispelling A Health Care Myth
Mr. PATRICK J. MURPHY of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, as we begin in this Congress a potentially transformational debate on the future of health care, I think it is time that we start dispelling some of the myths about American health care. So let's start with this one.
If I told you that the country which spent the most money on health care also ranked among the highest in wait times for care, opponents of health care reform would scream, ``Well, that is what you get with socialized medicine.'' The sad fact is that I'm describing our own health care system. A recent study published in Business Week showed that amongst the six top industrialized nations, the U.S. ranked fifth in medical wait times. We ranked behind New Zealand, Britain, Germany and Australia. In addition, 26 percent of Americans reported going to the ER for treatment because they couldn't get in to see their doctor, and ER wait times for heart attack patients has nearly doubled in the last 5 years.
So when you hear these anecdotes about people waiting for care in other countries that guarantee health care, know the facts. Americans wait longer.