Paul Krugman Is Right!
links for 2007-10-31

Angry Bear Is... Angry!

It's the U.S. press corps that has done it! Why Can’t We Have a Better Press Corp – Rudy’s Battle with the Truth Over Prostate Cancer: Chris Cillizza and Shailagh Murray write without further comment:

In the radio spot, Giuliani mentions his battle with prostate cancer and notes that his chances of surviving the disease in America were 82 percent, while in England his chances would have been 44 percent. "You and I should be making the decisions about what kind of health care we get with our doctors, not with a government bureaucrat," Giuliani says in the ad.

By the same token – a French man has a 100% chance of surviving breast cancer. Kevin Drum notes that Rudy is full of s---:

As you can see from the chart on the right, Britain and the United States have virtually identical mortality rates from prostate cancer. The only reason the U.S. has a higher survival rate is because we diagnose way more prostate cancer than Britain in the first place. In other words, the difference probably isn't that we're any better at prostate cancer surgery than the Brits, but that we aggressively screen for even mild cases of prostate cancer that probably aren't life-threatening in the first place - and then, unsurprisingly, we go on to survive all these non-threatening cancers regardless of treatment. So not only is Giuliani's statistic bogus, but it might actually reflect poorly on U.S. practices. British mortality rates from prostate cancer are just as good as ours, and they manage this without wasting time, money, and emotional distress on overdiagnosis or overtreatment.

Click on Kevin’s chart and you are directed to an Ezra Klein takedown of Cato’s Michael Cannon - the latter claiming:

For prostate cancer, you are twice as likely to die of it in Germany as in the U.S. (44 percent vs. 19 percent).

Ezra consults with Cannon’s source and summarizes thusly:

Why does Germany have less than half our prostate cancer incidence? And does it mean that their cancers are more serious, less curable cases? It's unclear. But the bottom line is that you're no more likely to die of prostate cancer in Germany than the US, and you're also less likely to die of other things.

Notice that Ezra posted his comments back on May 2, 2006. One would think Chris Cillizza And Shailagh Murray could do a little fact checking before repeating Rudy’s BS as if it were gospel. Look – Rudy has lied about a lot of things during his campaign. And he keeps doing this because he knows he can. Sort of like the reason Dick Cheney lies on Meet the Press. Dick knows Tim Russert is not going to call him on his serial dishonesty. Rudy figures that since this garbage worked for Bush-Cheney twice, it will work for him. And as long as our press is as lazy and stupid as Chris Cillizza and Shailagh Murray, Rudy just might be right.