ObamaCare working: Cancer rates decline

Democrats insisted that the US needed ObamaCare not just to cover the uninsured, but to fix the American health-care system so that our health would stop declining.  They warned that without government intervention to redirect resources towards prevention, American life expectancy would drop and deaths from cancer would continue to rise.  Only action now would stop lives from being lost, and the oceans would recede and the planet would cool and — oh, sorry, wrong government intervention.

Anyway, Democrats apparently had it right, because no sooner did we pass ObamaCare than the cancer rate dropped.  Oh, wait — they were already dropping:

The number of deaths due to cancer continues to decline in the United States, according to new statistics from theAmerican Cancer Society.

In fact, the downward trend, which began in the early 1990s, means about 767,000 fewer deaths from cancer over the past two decades, according to the group’s estimates.

The report finds that the death rate from cancer overall in the United States in 2007 was 178.4 per 100,000 people — a drop of 1.3% from the previous year.

This decline continues a trend that started in 1991 for men and in 1992 for women. Since that time, death rates have fallen 21% among men and 12% among women, the report says.

What?  How did that happen?  It had to be sheer luck, because doctors are more interested in stealing tonsils and feet than helping to prevent illness.  Remember when Barack Obama told us that?  Doctors don’t get paid to help prevent illnesses in the free-market system, Obama explained, which is why they come after your tonsils and your feet:

Right now, doctors a lot of times are forced to make decisions based on the fee payment schedule that’s out there. So if they’re looking and you come in and you’ve got a bad sore throat or your child has a bad sore throat or has repeated sore throats, the doctor may look at the reimbursement system and say to himself, “You know what? I make a lot more money if I take this kid’s tonsils out.”

Now, that may be the right thing to do, but I’d rather have that doctor making those decisions just based on whether you really need your kid’s tonsils out or whether it might make more sense just to change — maybe they have allergies. Maybe they have something else that would make a difference.

So — so part of what we want do is to free doctors, patients, hospitals to make decisions based on what’s best for patient care. And that’s the whole idea behind Mayo. That’s the whole idea behind the Cleveland Clinic.

So obviously the decline has nothing to do with prevention and the efforts of doctors and other professionals in the existing American health-care system, right?  Right??

“Cancer death rates continue to decrease because of prevention, early detection and improved treatment,” said lead researcher Dr. Ahmedin Jemal, the strategic director for cancer occurrence at the society.

“The decline in cancer incidence and mortality among the U.S. population is a positive sign that public health campaigns and public policy regarding smoking, and greater utilization of and stricter guidelines for cancer screenings are working,” agreed Monique N. Hernandez, a senior research analyst at the Florida Cancer Data System at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

And as for life expectancy, we have this data from last year that rebuts the contention that we’re dying faster these days:

Americans are living nearly two-and-a-half months longer, according to new life expectancy statistics released today. In 2007, life expectancy in the United States reached a high of nearly 78 years, up from 77.7 a year earlier.

Life expectancy in the United States has been on the rise for a decade, increasing 1.4 years — from 76.5 years in 1997 to 77.9 in 2007, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The life expectancy data, compiled by the agency’s National Center for Health Statistics, are based on nearly 90 percent of the death certificates filed in the United States.

Doctors say that not only is lifespan increasing, but more important, the “active” lifespan is increasing as well.

ObamaCare works!  In fact, it works so well that it works ex post facto! Either that, or our health care system was delivering excellent outcomes and effective preventive care without requiring a government intervention to do so.  Doctors and patients seemed to work together well to improve health in the US long before Barack Obama decided to take on the Tonsil Vultures and the Feet Bandits.