US Beats UK in Lives Saved by Health Care

The CNN duel between Senators Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz on the future of Obamacare was pretty illuminating for a recent arrival to the United States, with Senator Sanders’ playbook all-too-familiar to those of us from the UK.

Sanders wants a single-payer socialized healthcare system in the United States, just as we have in Britain. Any objection to that is met with the claim that you are “leaving people to die.” The only alternatives on offer, you would think, are the U.S. system as it exists now, or the UK system.

Sanders did not once acknowledge that the UK structure, which is free at the point of use, inevitably means rationed care, with a lack of pre-screening. He also failed to acknowledge that lower health spending levels (indeed, even public spending on health is lower in the UK than the United States now) are not the same as efficiency—which is about outputs per input.

In the face of anecdote after anecdote about those saved by Obamacare and the virtues of a government-run health system, Cruz countered with some anecdotes from the UK showing the consequences of rationed care: a Scottish hospital turning away pregnant women, a woman in Wales waiting eight hours on the floor for an ambulance to arrive after a fall, and a hospital in Essex canceling life-saving cancer treatment because there were no free beds in intensive care.

He could also have talked about the Mid-Staffs scandal, or a recent documentary showing doctors deciding between saving a cancer patient or a pensioner bleeding to death.

Anecdotes are powerful in helping to persuade people, and there are good reasons to use them in debates. Yet they are always susceptible to the charge that all health systems have extreme failures. Perhaps more powerfully then, the inadequacies of the UK system show up systematically in the data about how well conditions are dealt with (data from my former colleague Kristian Niemietz’s reports here and here):
  • In the United States, the age-adjusted breast cancer 5-year survival rate is 88.9 percent, compared with just 81.1 percent in the UK
  • The United States leads the world on the equivalent stat for prostate cancer (97.2 per cent) vs. 83.2 percent in the UK
  • Lung cancer: 18.7 percent in the United States vs. 9.6 percent in the UK; bowel cancer: 64.2 percent vs. 56.1 percent
  • Just in case you think I am cherry picking: U.S. survival rates are also better for leukemia, ovarian cancer, stomach cancer, and liver cancer—all of those for which I can find comparisons
  • The age- and sex-standardized 30-day mortality rate for ischaemic stroke is just 3.6 per cent in the United States vs. 9.2 per cent in the UK; for haemorrhagic stroke, the figures are 22 percent vs. 26.5 percent
I could go on. All of which is to show that your probability of dying from a range of common conditions is much higher in the UK than here. Perhaps that’s why (with no hint of irony) The Guardian’s write-up of a Commonwealth Fund Report suggesting the UK’s health system was “the best in the world” said “the only serious black mark against the NHS was its poor record on keeping people alive.”

Reprinted from Cato Institute.
Ryan Bourne
Ryan Bourne
Ryan Bourne, former head of public policy at IEA, occupies the R. Evan Scharf chair in the Public Understanding of Economics at the Cato Institute. He is a co-author of "The Minimum Wage: silver bullet or poisoned chalice?" and "Smoking out red herrings."
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‘Indivisible,’ With Ties to George Soros, Sows Division Against Trump, GOP Lawmakers

Democrats who used to work on Capitol Hill are helping to disrupt Republican lawmakers’ town hall meetings across the country through a nationwide effort to oppose and “resist” President Donald Trump’s agenda.

They call their group Indivisible Guide, a name that came from an actual guide posted online telling activists how to pressure members of Congress. Among topics: what to say when going to town halls and calling or visiting a member’s office.

Leaders of the organization have loose ties to George Soros, the billionaire hedge fund manager who bankrolls liberal causes, according to the Capital Research Center, a conservative think tank that investigates nonprofits.

However, in an email Friday to The Daily Signal, board members of Indivisible Guide denied financial backing from Soros:

We have received donations from more than 4,000 people since putting a donate button on our site two weeks ago. We think George Soros funds many worthy programs, but he has not funded us. We understand why it’s convenient for Republicans to dismiss widespread popular disapproval as astroturf, but anyone looking at the numbers for the Women’s March and other recent events knows better.

The Capital Research Center argues that Indivisible Guide’s board has indirect ties with left-leaning groups funded by Soros, as well as with other liberal organizations.

“Indivisible is ultraslick leftist astroturf activism at its finest,” Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at the Capital Research Center, told The Daily Signal in an email. “At least three of the group’s five principals—Ezra Levin, Leah Greenberg, and Angel Padilla—have ties to organizations funded by George Soros. Indivisible is apparently not yet a nonprofit, but plans are in the works to register it as a nonprofit.”

According to Vadum’s research:

Ezra Levin, a former staffer for Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, and his wife, Leah Greenberg, are the president and vice president of the Indivisible Guide’s board, respectively.

Levin is also associate director of the Corporation for Enterprise Development, an anti-poverty nonprofit. Melissa Bradley, who sits on that group’s board, previously worked for Green for All, a group founded by liberal commentator and former Obama administration official Van Jones. She was appointed as a Soros Justice Fellow through the Open Society Foundations, which Soros founded.

Greenberg previously worked for Humanity United, which is funded by Soros’ Open Society Institute.

The secretary of Indivisible Guide, Angel Padilla, works for the National Immigration Law Center, which is funded by Soros through his Open Society Foundations. And treasurer Matt Traidi is the research team director for the Service Employees International Union, a major donor to and endorser of Democrat politicians, Capital Research Center notes.

Indivisible Guide boasts that it has disrupted town halls held by Republican lawmakers in Utah, California, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan, and Nebraska. And the group, which amplifies its message over Twitter and other social media, promises it isn’t finished.

Politico reported that local activists shouted down Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich. Police had to escort Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., at a town hall meeting because of protesters.

One CNN report presented the disruption of a town hall meeting held Thursday night by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, as a sign of a “grassroots” reaction to Trump such as the taxpayer-based tea party movement was against the Washington establishment:

ActBlue, a political action committee that raises millions of dollars for Democrat candidates, also raises money for Indivisible Guide. Its appeal says, in part:

As former congressional staffers and advocates, we want to help provide local activists with information, tools, and support to take action. Most of all we want you to be part of this nationwide movement.

Let us be clear: donating is the last thing we want you to do. If it’s a choice between going to your local group’s meeting or donating to us, please go to the meeting. Really.

The website of Indivisible Guide, also known simply as Indivisible, provides scripts for what activists should say when calling the office of their House or Senate members on various issues—among them opposing senior Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s role in the White House, Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, his refugee policy, and most other policy positions.

The website says:

More than 4,500 local groups have signed up to resist the Trump agenda in nearly every congressional district in the country. What’s more, you all are putting the guide into action—showing up en masse to congressional district offices and events, and flooding the congressional phone lines. You’re resisting—and it’s working. … we want to demystify the heck out of Congress and build a vibrant community of angelic troublemakers.

Longstanding liberal groups MoveOn, the Working Families Party, and the American Civil Liberties Union have joined Indivisible Guide’s effort.

Just two days after Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration, Indivisible Guide,, and the Working Families Party organized a teleconference for activists that attracted 60,000 listeners, Politico reported.

Indivisible did another call with the ACLU focusing on Trump’s executive order aimed at increasing the vetting of immigrants from seven terrorism-prone Middle Eastern countries; it drew about 35,000 listeners. is conducting “Resist Trump” rallies across the country. The ACLU issued pamphlets about how to demonstrate, including for protesters who attempted to disrupt Washington during Trump’s inauguration.

In running for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., called the Working Families Party “the closest thing there is to a political party that believes in my vision of democratic socialism.”

Actor and liberal activist George Takei, of “Star Trek” fame, tweeted Friday:

Report by The Daily Signal's Fred Lucas (@FredLucasWH).  Originally published at The Daily Signal.

No, Elizabeth Warren Is Not a Feminist Icon

Last week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was vaulted to high status among feminists.

What did she do? Did she lay down in the street to protect the voting rights of women? Did she take a stand against sex trafficking and female exploitation?

No. She knowingly and flagrantly broke a long-standing rule of the Senate. And for this, the left made her a hero.

The rule that Warren broke was Section 2 of Rule 19, a century-old prohibition on senators from attributing conduct or motives “unworthy or unbecoming” to another senator.

If applied, it requires the offending senator to “take his (or her) seat,” meaning they cannot speak for the remainder of the debate.

When Warren came to the floor to speak against the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., for attorney general, she embarked on a floor speech that painted Sessions—still her colleague in the Senate—as an unhinged racist.

Several minutes into her remarks, Warren called Sessions “a disgrace to the Justice Department” and stated that “he should withdraw his nomination and resign his position.”

It was this statement—not the reading of the letter from Coretta Scott King, as the media has repeatedly reported—which triggered the chair to warn Warren that she was dangerously close to violating the tenets of Rule 19.

Warren was either unmoved or confused about the rules of the Senate, because she continued to slander Sessions, stating that “he has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens.”

While Warren was referencing a statement from King, she was not quoting from it. (And furthermore, this claim against Sessions has been repeatedly debunked.)

Warren’s wanton and blatant disregard of the Senate’s standing rules is what triggered the application of Rule 19. Warren promptly appealed, but the Senate, by a vote of 49-43, determined that the rule had been correctly applied.

Meanwhile, the left was at work making a martyr of Warren for her deliberate disregard for the rules of the institution in which she serves. The hashtag #ShePersisted popped up within minutes—a reference to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s comment that Warren had been warned, but persisted in violation of the rules.

Feminists on Twitter fomented outrage that Warren had been “silenced,” that she had been shut down by the Senate patriarchy, that this was somehow representative of the struggle of women everywhere to be heard.

For her part, Warren stood outside the Senate chamber, bravely reading the statement that ran afoul of Senate rules, and then promptly called in to MSNBC to claim she’d been “red carded” in the Senate.

The left fell over themselves in martyrdom ecstasy. Such bravery, such courage, such resistance in the face of deep institutional oppression. (Not to be left out, even Hillary Clinton got in on the drama.)

The problem here, in case anyone hasn’t noticed yet, is that this “Elizabeth Warren, Feminist Hero, Courageous Victim” narrative is completely misplaced.

The Senate rules are gender-neutral. Explicitly so. Warren knowingly violated them, either because she just doesn’t care, or because she doesn’t know the difference between what’s allowed at a rally and what’s allowed on the Senate floor.

And for that, she’s a feminist icon? Please, spare me.

Raising Warren up as a hero of feminism because she knowingly broke a gender-neutral Senate rule not only belittles the actual achievements of feminist heroes like Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth, Shirley Chisholm, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony, it relegates women—again—to the status of victims, which they are most certainly not.

This is the problem with the left’s narrative about women. In seeking to make martyrs out of women like Warren (and Clinton, for that matter), they implicitly sell women on the idea that they are still kept down, still oppressed by the insidious forces of patriarchy in a society that’s set against them.

This isn’t an empowering philosophy. It’s a degrading one.

Women have made incredible strides in the face of tremendous odds. And because we have had true feminist heroes that have triumphed in the face of real oppression, we live in a time where women are Cabinet secretaries, CEOs of major corporations, senators, presidential contenders, leaders in their fields—even outnumbering men at universities.

Why does the left continue to tell women that they are still victims? This shamefully dismisses the accomplishments of women generations over who have sacrificed everything to create a society in which women are promoted for their accomplishments, and recognized for their achievements, rather than their gender.

Do women continue to face difficulties in modern society? Yes. Discrimination, exploitation, and harassment are very real issues faced by women across America, and ones that deserve very real attention.

But does what Warren faced in the Senate rise to that level? No. Profoundly, no.

For the left to equate the two—to make Warren a martyr to a belief that women are somehow still the most victimized class in society—is a shameful attempt to make women believe they still can’t reach the top tiers of society, that they’ll always be fighting some nebulous, unidentified patriarchal conspiracy designed to silence them, instead of pouring their energies into pursuing their dreams.

Warren consciously broke a 100-year-old Senate rule. A true feminist—one who prizes being treated equally regardless of gender—would own up to the issue and accept the consequences like every other member of the Senate, not wave the flag of victimhood in the face of American women who continue to achieve, break barriers, and reach the heights of their potential every single day.

Commentary by Rachel Bovard (@Rachel_Bovard). Originally published at The Daily Signal.

Entire Homeschooling Family Kidnapped by the State

Raising children is no walk in the park, but it’s even more difficult when the state dictates what you can and cannot do with your own family. Kiarre Harris is a devoted single mother, trying her hardest to provide her children with the best possible upbringing.

After growing concerned that her children were not receiving an adequate education from the Buffalo public school system in New York State, she made the decision to pull her kids out of their school.
"I felt that the district was failing my children,” Harris reported.

Harris’ feelings are not uncommon among parents of public school students. Government schooling has been failing children for years. However, since it is funded through tax dollars, rather than being a product of the market, it is incredibly difficult to keep public schools, and public teachers, accountable. This is precisely why many parents have begun considering other options that are better suited to their children’s educational needs.

Frustrated and desperate for an alternative, Harris spent time researching homeschooling, which she ultimately decided was the best direction for her family. Unfortunately, the state disagreed.

Most parents believe themselves to be the sole arbitrators when it comes to making choices that directly impact their children, and rightfully so, as kids are perhaps the most obvious fruits of one’s labor. But it has unfortunately become all too common for the state to intervene, asserting that government knows what is best for your child.

An Unexpected Visit

Harris had done everything exactly right. She familiarized herself with the legal process and followed all the guidelines required by the state of New York in order to homeschool her children.

“I spoke directly to the homeschool coordinator and she told me from this point on my children were officially un-enrolled from school.”

But despite filing all the relevant and mandated paperwork and working closely with the district to ensure she was adhering to the proper protocol, Harris received a phone call from Child Protective Services a week later, demanding to know why her children had not been attending school.

She explained the situation to the state representative and even offered to provide them with copies of the paperwork she had already filed with the district. The representative appeared to be appeased by Harris' explanation, and she believed the matter had been fully resolved.

Before even a month had passed since the unexpected phone call, Harris and her family received a visit from social service representatives, who were accompanied by local police officers.

Claiming to have an order from a local judge, ordering the state to remove her children from their home, Harris did what any mother would do and refused to hand her children over to strangers with government badges.

Instead of discussing the matter and attempting to get to the bottom of the situation before uprooting young children from the comfort and safety of their home and mother, police officers arrested Harris for obstructing law enforcement in the line of duty.

What Happens Next?

While the school district has claimed they are unable to comment on the matter, they said that homeschooling is a right only granted to those who have full custody of their children, alluding to the possibility that Harris was not the sole custodian of her two kids.

Harris, who is no newbie to single parenthood, has had sole custody of her children for several years. However, the incompetency of the state appears to be enough of a reason to not only remove her children, but to deny her visitation privileges altogether.

It has now been three weeks since Harris has seen her children. By no fault of her own, the state is punishing Harris for doing what she, as their mother, believes is best for the children.

The state, as always, has justified their actions under the guise of “protecting” the Harris children. However, it is unclear how ripping two minors from their home serves any benefit to Harris’ kids. This tragic situation perfectly demonstrates the inherent nature of government failure, not only in the education system but also with something as simple as proper communication. Since Harris had, in fact, done everything right, the fault here lies with Buffalo officials, and their inability to properly do their job.  

For now, the case is ongoing, but even though the blame is on the local government, the young children must wait in foster care, while the state attempts to fix its own mistake.

Brittany Hunter

Brittany Hunter
Brittany Hunter is an associate editor at FEE.
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Joint Statement by President Trump and Prime Minister Abe of Japan regarding North Korea's missile threat

Palm Beach, Florida
10:38 P.M. EST
PRIME MINISTER ABE:   (As interpreted.)  North Korea's most recent missile launch is absolutely intolerable.  North Korea must fully comply with the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions.  
During the summit meeting that I had with President Trump, he assured me that the United States will always with Japan 100 percent.  And to demonstrate his determination, as well as commitment, he is now here with me at this joint press conference. 
President Trump and I myself completely share the view that we are going to promote further collaboration between the two nations and also we are going to further reinforce our alliance.  That is all from myself.
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister.  I just want everybody to understand and fully know that the United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent.  Thank you.
10:40 P.M. EST

Crazy video from inside North Korea of their new nuclear missile

The dictatorship of North Korea test-fired a new missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to Japan and U.S. Pacific naval bases, and they waited until U.S. President Donald Trump was meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to launch it.

The new Pukguksong-2 uses solid fuel, instead of unstable liquid.  That not only makes the missile more accurate and reliable, it allows the regime to fire missiles from more bases -- and without the two to three days of set-up that was previously warning the United States.

North Korea already has 24 nuclear warheads, and are quickly developing new ones that can be delivered using these new missiles.

Below is the official television broadcast from inside North Korea announcing the launch.  The anchor is Ri Chun-Hee.  Unofficially retired as the regime's most prestigious news anchor, she is only brought back for major announcements -- such as the development of North Korea's most deadly addition to its growing nuclear arsenal.

Starting at around the 2:37 mark, you can see photographs from inside North Korea's nuclear weapons facilities showing the development of the missile, as well as the actual video from the missile launch.

Keep in mind, this is produced by the dictatorship's official state-run propaganda ministry.

PHOTOS: These photos from inside North Korea show launch of their new ballistic missile

North Korea's dictatorial regime on Sunday test-fired a new ballistic missile.  Believed to be a solid-fuel rocket, it marks another aggressive step forward in their illegal nuclear weapons program.

A solid fuel rocket not only allows Pyongyang to launch missiles from a wider variety of sites, with less warning, they are also more accurate and less likely to fail.

These photos are from the Korean Central News Agency, the official state-run propaganda agency of the North Korean dictatorship.

Official North Korean Statement - Kim Jong Un Guides Test-Fire of Surface to Surface Medium Long-Range Ballistic Missile

The following the direct report from the Korean Central News Agency, the official state-run propaganda agency of the North Korean dictatorship.

Pyongyang, February 13 (KCNA) -- A surface-to-surface medium long-range ballistic missile Pukguksong-2, Korean style new type strategic weapon system, was successfully test-fired on Sunday.

Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK, guided the test-fire of Pukguksong-2 on the spot.

Respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un set forth the task of developing the weapon system into surface-to-surface ballistic missile with extended firing range on the basis of the success made in the SLBM underwater test-fire held in August last year.

He received the report on the development of Pukguksong-2, set the date of the test-fire of the missile and personally guided the preparations for it on the spot.

Before the test-fire that day he looked round the caterpillar self-propelled missile launching truck produced by workers in the munitions industry by their own efforts, technology and wisdom.

At the observation post he learned in detail about the plan for the test-fire of Pukguksong-2 and gave the order to launch it.

The test-fire proved the reliability and security of the surface launch system and starting feature of the high thrust solid fuel-powered engine and reconfirmed the guidance and control features of ballistic missile during its active flight and working feature of high thrust solid fuel- powered engines and those of separation at the stages.

It also verified the position control and guidance in the middle section and section of re-entry after the separation of the improved warhead of the missile which can be tipped with a nuclear warhead, the feature of evading interception, etc. The test-fire helped test and round off the mobility and operation of the new type missile launching truck in the worst surface condition and finally confirm its technological specifications through ballistic missile launch.

The test-fire was conducted by the high-angle launching method instead of firing range, taking the security of the neighboring countries into consideration.

He said that the newly developed Pukguksong-2 is the Korean style advantageous weapon system providing convenience in operation and ensuring speed in striking and a Juche-missile, Juche-weapon in name and reality as the launching truck and ballistic missile were designed and manufactured and fired by the indigenous wisdom, efforts and technology 100 percent. He expressed great satisfaction over the possession of another powerful nuclear attack means which adds to the tremendous might of the country.

Now our rocket industry has radically turned into high thrust solid fuel-powered engine from liquid fuel rocket engine and rapidly developed into a development- and creation-oriented industry, not just copying samples, he said, adding:

Thanks to the development of the new strategic weapon system, our People's Army is capable of performing its strategic duties most accurately and rapidly in any space: under waters or on the land.

At the end of the test-fire he had a photo taken with scientists and technicians in the field of defence industry and service personnel who took part in the test-fire of Pukguksong-2.