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CAT Critical Reasoning Practice question with Solution 82

It is more desirable to have some form of socialized medicine than a system of medical care relying on the private sector. Socialized medicine is more broadly accessible than is private-sector system. In addition, since countries with socialized medicine have a lower infant morality rate than do countries with a system relying entirely on the private sector, socialized medicine seems to be technologically superior.

Which one of the following best indicates a flaw in the argument about the technological superiority of socialized medicine?

[A]. The lower infant mortality rate might be due to the systems allowing greater access to medical care.
[B]. There is no necessary connection between the economic system of socialism and technological achievement.
[C]. Infant mortality is a reliable indicator of the quality of medical care for children.
[D]. No list is presented of the countries whose infant mortality statistics are summarized under the two categories, “socialized” and “private-sector.”
[E]. The argument presupposes the desirability of socialized medicine, which is what the argument seeks to establish.
Answer: A

We’re asked to find a flaw in a very specific part of the argument: the claim that socialized medicine is technologically superior to private-sector medicine. Notice that the only evidence the author cites for this claim is the low infant mortality rate in countries that use socialized medicine. (A) breaks this connection between lower infant mortality and technological superiority by providing an alternative explanation for the lower infant mortality; namely, that the greater access to medical care in countries with socialized medicine, not technological superiority, might be the reason for those countries’ lower infant mortality rate. If this is the case, then private-sector care may actually be technologically superior, yet still have a higher infant mortality rate than countries with socialized medicine due to the limited access to such care.

(B) is outside the scope; we’re not talking about the socialist economies and their achievements, but about the alleged technological superiority of socialized medicine.

(C) is a strengthener; it supports the claim that the low infant mortality rate connected to socialized medicine indicates technological superiority.

(D) We don’t need a list of countries whose medical systems are “socialized” or “private sector” in order to draw a conclusion about the merits of the different medical systems.

(E) The author doesn’t presuppose the desirability of socialized medical systems. She provides evidence (greater accessibility and low infant mortality) that she believes demonstrates that desirability.

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