Rush Limbaugh has done a personal biopsy of the US health care system and found it healthy:
“Based on what happened to me here, I don’t think there is one thing wrong with the American healthcare system. It is working just fine,” he said.
Limbaugh, a multimillionaire, said he got no special treatment, but the staff made his stay “almost like a hotel.” (Reuters via ABC News)
What “happened to him” was that the obese 58 year old media bloviator with enough internal rage to kill a dozen normal sized people was afraid he was having a heart attack and called his girl friend, Kathryn Rogers, to let her know:
Rogers first heard about the incident, which occurred during a Hawaii vacation, while she was getting her nails done with her mother.
“Due to Rush’s [hearing loss], we don’t often speak over the phone, more via e-mail and text,” Rogers said in an email. “When I saw that he was calling, I thought that’s weird he never calls. I answered with my one free hand. Rush said ‘Kate, I think I’m having a heart attack!’ in a very stressed tone. I hung up, pushed back the nail table and yelled to my mom: ‘Rush is having a heart attack! Call 911!’” (Huff Po)
What was it?
Limbaugh, 58, underwent an angiogram, or an imaging of the arteries and heart, to determine what caused the pain “like I have never experienced before,” he said.
“They found absolutely nothing wrong. It was a blessing. No arterial disease, no coronary disease whatsoever,” Limbaugh told reporters at Honolulu’s Queen’s Medical Center, where he was rushed on Wednesday from a nearby resort. (Reuters)
So when they looked there was no heart there. And the health care system was never in better shape (probably for the same reason). And the hospital? Just like a hotel. I’ve been in a lot of hospitals and a lot of hotels but I’ve never been confused where I was. But I’m not a multimillionaire either. Maybe that has something to do with it. In fact most people, including pregnant women aren’t multimillionaires, either. Maybe that has something to do with this:
Compared with 18 European countries, the United States had the highest percentage of preterm births (12.4%) in 2004. Except for Austria (11.4%), the other countries had levels of 8.9% or less. Ireland had the lowest percentage (5.5%), followed by Finland (5.6%) and Greece (6.0%), each less than half the U.S. percentage. Because preterm infants are at greater risk for death than term infants, countries with a higher percentage of preterm births tend to have higher infant mortality rates.
SOURCE: MacDorman MF, Mathews TJ. Behind international rankings of infant mortality: How the United States compares with Europe. NCHS data brief, no 23. Hyattsville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, National Center for Health Statistics; 2009. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db23.pdf
Take a look:
You are looking at the percent of preterm births in 2004. US is dead last. If you exclude Austria, no other European country comes close. Preterm births correlate with infant mortality and are expensive in terms of medical care.
Maybe Europe just has better hotels.