Home / Krugman Takes Giuliani to the Mat

Krugman Takes Giuliani to the Mat


Krugman body slams Giuliani (and the msm’s coverage of the candidate) today in his column. Feeling feisty, Krugman takes on Rudy’s claim that American men have much higher prostate cancer survival rates than the Brits because the Brits have socialized medicine. The claim is, of course, totally false. Where’d he get his data? The Manhattan Institute. A source of unbiased fact-based reporting if there ever was one. Here’s what Krugman has to say:

You see, the actual survival rate in Britain is 74.4 percent. That still looks a bit lower than the U.S. rate, but the difference turns out to be mainly a statistical illusion. The details are technical, but the bottom line is that a man’s chance of dying from prostate cancer is about the same in Britain as it is in America.

So Mr. Giuliani’s supposed killer statistic about the defects of “socialized medicine” is entirely false. In fact, there’s very little evidence that Americans get better health care than the British, which is amazing given the fact that Britain spends only 41 percent as much on health care per person as we do.

Krugman takes care of the math. We take care of the eyerolling. WaPo’s Eugene Robinson gives us the numbers:

Okay, the math: Gratzer writes that his figures come from seven-year-old data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on the numbers of men in various countries who are diagnosed with prostate cancer and, of those diagnosed, how many die from the disease. The latest official figures show a much smaller gap: Of men diagnosed with prostate cancer, about 98 percent survive five years in the United States vs. about 74 percent in Britain.

But even that is misleading, because — as even Gratzer acknowledges — a much higher percentage of American men than Britons are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the first place. The reason Americans are more likely to be diagnosed is that we are screened and tested much more often than our British counterparts. Doctors here are much more likely to diagnose, say, a slow-growing tumor in an elderly patient who will die of something else before the prostate cancer progresses to a serious state.

That’s why the more relevant comparison, experts say, is mortality rates — which are about equal.

That Giuliani is either dishonest or willfully blind is not a surprise to those of us who lived through his mayoralty. But Krugman is mad that the MSM is not doing its job to help the rest of the country realize that the GOP frontrunner just doesn’t care enough to check the facts. He’s more interested in using the scary specter of socialism to scare people into voting for him than in pretty much anything else. And news outlets let him; Krugman notes that there’s been some coverage of the Giuliani prostate lie, but that it pales in comparison to the amount lavished on Hillary’s hint of cleavage or John Edwards’s haircut. And, shockingly (not), Chris Matthews is giving air time to this crap. All while Giuliani tours with his ridiculous claim that the “liberal media” have redefined torture. At some point, we’re all going to have to stop being so serious and just laugh at it all.

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