Comment Key for 1st graded reconstruction
- How many rationales did you find?
- Make it clear that this is an explanation of the data in the Lancet study.
- You should put this in the context of a "response to a counter argument".
- I considered following this passage where Noah clarifies or interprets McCaughey's argument, but after checking her article, I decided it was no big deal. Noah really is just clarifying her conclusion.
Reading notes from Alfino on the Noah article
Would Universal Health Care Wreck Cancer Treatment? Timothy Noah
- responding to editorials in WSJ arguing that socialized medicine would worsen cancer survival rates.
- Acknowledges (presupposition in discussion) that U.S. is ahead on cancer survival rate.
- opening argument (Just introductory? Or part of main rationes?): Just because the U.S. is superior in this area (cancer survival), it doesn’t follow that universal care would ruin that advantage. (par 4)
Conclusion: Universal health care worsens cancer survival rates. Premise: Lancet survey data suggest U.S. is highest in cancer survival as measure by percent living 5 years after diagnosis.
- Noah’s response to her argument:
P: Survey data don’t imply that (RES #2). You would expect a general difference between socialized and U.S., but its gradual. Evidence: Iceland, Sweden, etc. Also, Britain is unusual for being so low.
- Noah’s positive argument: Lancet study suggests that national wealth explains differences in cancer survival rate. This would lead you to predict that U.S. would have the highest survival rate.
- Conclusion: It’s unlikely that moving to universal health care would worsen U.S. cancer survival rates.
- Rationale 1 is a response to the counter argument from McCaughey.
- Rationale 2 is an explanation of the reason for U.S. survival rates. (Its ‘cause we’re rich that we survive cancer better!)
- some students made credible use of the introductory information to reconstruction this subargument: Because universal health care is a funding mechanism rather than a research program, it follows that the change to universal coverage will not diminish US advantages in health care. (I treated this as outside the scope of the conclusion.)
- some students “unraveled” the whole counter argument structure. Not my choice, and there are reasons for avoiding this, but in a couple of cases it was done really well. Generally, I like to preserve the counterargument structure.