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Is a European Model the Right Prescription for American Health Care?

Wednesday June 2009


Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D Founder & Chairman, Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths Former Lieutenant Governor, New York State

Advocates for a health-care overhaul favor a European model of government-imposed medical scarcity. But Americans can afford their higher standard of care and still insure the millions of Americans who lack coverage. Why copy Europe?

Lawmakers are thinking about health care the way Europeans do—as a cost problem rather than as a growth industry. Health care provides 17 percent of GDP and 1.4 million jobs, ten times the U.S. workforce of General Motors and Chrysler. Slowing the flow of dollars into health care will mean layoffs, cuts in hospital budgets, nurses spread even thinner, fewer diagnostic machines, and long waits for treatment.

Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York State, a patient advocate, and founder and chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths. Her 1993 analysis of the Clinton health plan in The New Republic won a National Magazine Award for the best article in the nation on public policy, and was widely credited for derailing HillaryCare. Her writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, Policy Review, Forbes magazine, the New York Law Journal, U.S. News & World Report, and many other prominent publications.

McCaughey will dispel some of the scientific and economic fallacies driving "health reform" and suggest how to assist the approximately 24 million people who need help buying insurance.