The New York Times reports,

The number of cancer deaths in the United States has dropped slightly, the first decline in more than 70 years, the American Cancer Society is reporting today…

The decline occurred in 2003, the latest year for which figures are available. There were 556,902 cancer deaths, 369 fewer than in 2002. Deaths fell in men by 778, but rose by 409 in women.

One of the Left’s tropes is that other countries, with nationalized health care, spend less and have greater longevity. My concern is that longevity is measured with such a long lag that the political debate will be settled before we really know the truth. Wouldn’t it be ironic if we were to adopt single-payer health care and then find out years later that our evil capitalist system had actually propelled our longevity forward beyond that of the humane countries that have nationalized health care?

Thanks to Daniel Drezner for the pointer.