A conservative group with Republican ties called the Independent Women’s Forum is airing an ad that says "300,000 American women with breast cancer might have died" if our health care were "government run" like England’s, citing the American Cancer Society as a source for the figure.
According to FactCheck.org, in fact, a spokesman for the cancer society’s advocacy arm says that figure is "not reliable" and adds: "[I]t’s not one that we have ever cited; it’s not one that we would ever cite." Furthermore, an epidemiologist with the cancer society told us that the way this figure was calculated was "really faulty."
- The ad uses outdated survival rate statistics. More recent numbers show England’s survival rate to be closing the gap with that of the United States.
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- Experts with the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute told us that mortality rates provide a much more accurate comparison. And the mortality rates for breast cancer for the two countries are similar.
And of course, nothing like England’s system is being considered currently by either house of Congress anyway, as we’ve often pointed out. We judge this ad’s main insinuation to be a false appeal to women’s fears.
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