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Former surgeon general's UK health claim wrong

Staff Report • Feb 2, 2010 at 12:00 AM

FactCheck.org is refuting former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop claims that the United Kingdom’s health care system would consider seniors "too old" to qualify for the artificial joints, heart pacemakers and coronary stent that he’s received in the U.S.U.K. guidelines make clear that patients of "any age" may receive pacemakers, for example. And in fact, official statistics show 47 patients aged 100 or older got new or replacement pacemakers in a single recent year.Koop, who held office during the Reagan administration, makes his false claim in a TV spot by the conservative 60 Plus Association. We asked 60 Plus to substantiate the claim but received nothing that backs up what Koop said about joints, stents or pacemakers being denied based on age. A spokeswoman for the U.K.’s Department of Health states that Koop’s assertions are "not true."Read the full report at the FactCheck.org Web site.

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