As I mentioned a few days ago, the advocates of government-run health care love to quote World Health Organization statistics. They are particularly fond of referencing “World Health Report 2000,” which purports to rank the health care systems of 191 nations.
Glen Whitman of the Cato Institute has written an excellent analysis of the methods used by the WHO to produce that report, and he concludes that it should not be taken seriously as an objective measure of how health care systems perform relative to one another:
The WHO rankings depend crucially on a number of underlying assumptions—-some of them logically incoherent, some characterized by substantial uncertainty, and some rooted in ideological beliefs and values that not everyone shares.
Among the most ideologically-loaded components of the ranking system is that which measures ”financial fairness.” The WHO defines ”fairness” in terms of how much a given government subsidizes health care, which renders single-payer arguments based on these rankings utterly meaningless:
To use the existing WHO ranking to justify more government involvement in health care … is therefore to engage in circular reasoning because the rankings are designed in a manner that favors greater government involvement.
Not that such considerations matter to single-payer advocates. As I have pointed out before, these people don’t care about the integrity of their data. Contemporary “progressives” base their views less on facts than on the outward appearance of piety.
Which is why they cling desperately to the faux facts of ”World Health Report 2000.” Its pseudo-statistics provide single-payer advocates with much needed cover, allowing them to pose as thinking people whose opinions are based on actual data.