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In one of his posts that I linked to yesterday, Ezra Klein tries to refute the notion of consumers making their own health care decisions by pointing to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education showing lackluster adult literacy in this country:
So forget, for a moment, whether individuals have the interest or time to take charge of their treatment regimens. If 43 percent of Americans are reading at a fifth-grade level of lower, how many even have the capability? And how much damage will be done — as in the article’s example of a women who sought to save face and accidentally consented to a hysterectomy — if we don’t take these educational inequities seriously?
Let’s assume that 43% of adults read at a fifth-grade level or lower. Where do you suppose they received their education? It’s a safe bet most, if not all, received it through the public (i.e., “government”) school system.
So if government achieves such abysmal results on something like teaching people to read, why on earth would we want to put it in charge of something more complex like health care?
That would seem to be a pretty obvious question, but never underestimate the power to leftists like Klein to ignore the obvious in pursuit of their social schemes.
+ May 2007
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