The Residential Library

The sometimes demented, frequently irreverent, and occasionally stupid musings of Ron Hargrove

Would Universal Healthcare Kill US Medical Innovation?

From JayMan’s blog

In 2011, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) released their “Medical Technology Innovation Scorecard“, which ranks an assortment of developed countries on a variety of measures related to their state of their medical care, technology, and innovative ability. I strongly recommend reading the report yourself, but I will cite a selection of the very interesting charts from the report:

As we can see, according to these data, out of the countries sampled, the United States is not exceptional when it comes to healthcare technology, research activity, or system capacity on a per capita basis. Indeed, as with so many other things, the U.S. is very close to its progenitor nation, Great Britain (and secondarily, Germany), despite the latter having fully socialized medicine.

Interestingly, according to this report, for its size, Israel appears to be exceptionally innovative. Indeed, the Israeli healthcare system is apparently one of the best in the world, and is fully universal.

This should come as a surprise to no one. The reason that Israel’s performance shouldn’t be surprising is due high average IQ of its Ashkenazi population. In fact, the whole reason the U.S. leads the world in medical innovation is not because of something special about American for-profit system; it’s simply due to its sheer size. The U.S., as the most populous high-IQ country (at least, with a fully market economy) simply has the largest number of high-IQ individuals; it has the largest “smart fraction”, in terms of absolute numbers.

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