20 October 2009

The US Health System Is Way Better Than Europe's -- If You Don't Count Gunshots and Auto Accidents

Ever wonder why those people are showing up with firearms at meetings where Health Care reform is being discussed?

No phrase is bandied around more in the gun debate than “freedom of the individual”. When it comes to most dangerous products such as handguns, automatic weapons and other things specifically designed to kill people, I believe control is necessary, not least because the failure to deal with such violent devices often means that other freedoms must be curtailed.

TPM LiveWire
Ensign: Our Health System Is Way Better Than Europe's -- If You Don't Count Gunshots and Auto Accidents
Rachel Slajda | September 29, 2009, 12:48PM

In the Senate Finance Committee debate on health care reform this afternoon, Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) brought up what he thought was a very good point: If you don't count injuries from guns or car accidents, the U.S. health care system actually provides better outcomes than those in European and other industrialized countries.

"Are you aware that if you take out gun accidents and auto accidents, that the United States actually is better than those other countries?" Ensign said. Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) had been citing the health care systems of France, Germany, Japan and Canada as more effective, but with lower costs.

"But that doesn't have anything to do with health care. Auto accidents don't have anything to do with h--," Ensign said, cutting himself off. "I mean we're just a much more mobile society. ... We drive our cars a lot more, they do public transportation. So you have to compare health care system with health care system."

"The level of gun ownership world-wide is directly related to murder and suicide rates and specifically to the level of death by gunfire." From International Correlation between gun ownership and rates of homicide and suicide.' Professor Martin Killias, May 1993.

Gun Deaths - International Comparisons

from The Gun Control Network
Gun deaths per 100,000 population (for the year indicated): SROLL DOWN AS I CAN'T FIGURE OUT TABLES!



Other (inc Accident)
USA(2001) 3.98 5.92 0.36
Italy (1997)
0.81 1.1 0.07
Switzerland(1998) 0.50 5.8

Canada(2002) 0.4 2.0 0.04
Finland (2003) 0.35 4.45 0.10
Australia (2001)
0.24 1.34 0.10
France (2001) 0.21 3.4 0.49
England/Wales(2002) 0.15 0.2 0.03
0.06 0.2 0.02
0.02 0.04 0

Data taken from Cukier and Sidel (2006) The Global Gun Epidemic. Praeger Security International. Westport.

Figure produced by IANSA (International Action Network on Small Arms) and taken from their recent presentation Gun Violence: The Global Crisis.