Does Universal Health Care Make Cancer Kill You?

Betsy McCaughey Ross and John Stossel say yes, but Tim Noah says they're wrong and notes what the study showing strong performance for the US in the field of cancer survival actually concludes:

The significant differences observed in the study resulted not from a country's relative adherence to market principles in its health-care system, but rather from its relative wealth. "Countries with higher national expenditures on health … generally had better all-cancer survival." Survival rates tended to be highest in northern and Central Europe, middling in southern Europe, dreadful in the United Kingdom, and abysmal in Eastern Europe. Except for the anomalous poor survival rates in the U.K., these findings track with the relative wealth of the countries surveyed.

Meanwhile, though the UK is a wealthy country, UK per capital health care spending is ridiculously low. The salient thing about the NHS in all of these controversies is not so much its quality (very mixed) but its price (dirt cheap). The United States, meanwhile, spends a ton on health care and for our efforts get a system that performs well on this metric. But we could maintain our high level of overall health spending within the context of a different financing mechanism were we to choose to do so. Indeed, given that I don't see anyone proposing cutbacks of health expenditures to Canadian or British levels, that's almost certainly what we will do.