Healthcare rhetoric shot down

The Carpe Diem blog has an interesting table confirming an argument Greg Mankiw recently made in an op-ed in the New York Times.

Standardised life expectancy

It is standard rhetorical fare on the left (and among foreigners who just love to find reasons to snipe at the US) to argue that private healthcare is worse than universal, socialised medicine, and the fact that raw life expectancy numbers in the US are lower than in more socialist countries proves this. Turns out the causes of lower raw life expectancy in the US are unrelated to the quality or accessibility of private healthcare, after all. If you account for the effects of premature death resulting from non-health-related fatal injuries, as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development does with its standardised life expectancy measure, the US comes out on top. Go figure.

(Via Greg Mankiw’s blog.)