Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Even the New York Times Has Had Enough of Michael Moore

The US healthcare system would be in much better shape, if not for greaseballs like Michael Moore.

When the New York Times stands up for the American health care system, you know that Michael Moore has gone too far.

CUBA works hard to jam American TV signals and keep out decadent Hollywood films. But it’s a good bet that Fidel Castro’s government will turn a blind eye to bootleg copies of “Sicko,” Michael Moore’s newest movie, if they show up on the streets of Havana.

“Sicko,” the talk of the Cannes Film Festival last week, savages the American health care system — and along the way extols Cuba’s system as the neatest thing since the white linen guayabera.

Mr. Moore transports a handful of sick Americans to Cuba for treatment in the course of the film, which is scheduled to open in the United States next month, and he is apparently dumbfounded that they could get there what they couldn’t get here.

“There’s a reason Cubans live on average longer than we do,” he told Time magazine. “I’m not trumpeting Castro or his regime. I just want to say to fellow Americans, ‘C’mon, we’re the United States. If they can do this, we can do it.’ ”

But hold on. Do they do it? Live longer than, or even as long as, we do? How could a poor developing country — where annual health care spending averages just $230 a person compared with $6,096 in the United States — come anywhere near matching the richest country in the world?

But here's my favorite part - the reasons why Cubans might have a life exptancy as long as the US:

Dr. Butler said some of Cuba’s shortcomings may actually improve its health profile. “Because they don’t have up-to-date cars, they tend to have to exercise more by walking,” he said. “And they may not have a surfeit of food, which keeps them from problems like obesity, but they’re not starving, either.”

Cuban markets are not always well stocked, but city streets are dotted with hot dog and ice cream vendors. Bellies are full, but such food can cause problems in the future, as it has in the United States.

Dr. Butler has just completed a study that shows it is possible that because of the epidemic of obesity in children, “this may be the first generation of Americans to live less long than their parents.”

In other words, if the US life expectancy is not as long as we'd like, then the primary reason is that we have too many fat pigs like Michael Moore.

Apparently, ABC News doesn't bother to do much research. They don't even read the Times


Truth said...

Actually, Dr. Butler says the primary reason Cubans have approximatly the same life expectancy as Americans is that "the Cuban system ephasizes early intervention. Clinic visits are free, and the focus is on preventing disease rather than treating it." He then of course goes on to list why some of Cuba's sortcomings may improve its health profile, which as you noted include obesity. He closes however by noting that the "great leveler for Cubans and Americans" could very well be that Cubans all have at least basic healthcare while 45 million Americans do not.

Make of it what you will I suppose, but its clear to me that however you interpret that everybody has to agree that the healthcare system in America is broken. Whether or not universal healthcare is the answer or not is the real debate but I don't think we can continue to pretend that the system works when nearly 1/6 of the American population doesn't have access to basic healthcare.

And as for the ABC poll 2 things. First poll numbers fluctuate. This can be seen for example in Bush's approval numbers (http://pollingreport.com/BushJob.htm) which have gone varried from 28% approval to 38% approval in May alone. Secondly, their poll continues to show that a majority of Americans support univeral healthcare, and even shows that Americans are a loving people as they are in support of this despite beliving they will take a hit in benefits, likely because they want to help the 45 million people without healthcare

April E. Coggins said...

"everybody has to agree that the healthcare system in America is broken"
No, I don't have to agree. It is not broken and more government is not the answer to a system that works well. In fact, government mandates and intervention is the problem, not the solution. The pro-government health care advocates use fear mongering and gross exagerations to promote their agenda. Not unlike the current hysteria over global warming. Unfortunately for the American public, the media feeds and thrives on peoples fear and sensationalizes one case of AIDs or one hot day to get ratings. The media has turned into a bunch of Oprahs and Rosies.

Truth said...

So the 45 million people without health insurance don't qualify the American healthy system as broken?

Michael said...

Nearly everyone of those 45 million people could buy health insurance with their own money if they chose to do so. I do not consider a system broken because it retains a remnant of free choice.

Truth said...

What do you mean nearly everyone of those 45 million people could buy health insurance? Are you saying perhaps if they stopped eating, because then I suppose you would be correct. Tell me, why would someone, or 45 million someones, willing go without healthcare? Do you have any facts to back up your claim that "nearly everyone of those 45 million people could buy health insurance with their own money if they chose to do so", because the US census is where I'm getting my information (for a quick breakdown of said information go to http://www.cbpp.org/8-30-05health.htm)

Joseph said...

Markets work. Central planning does not work very well. Right now the federal governments spends one of every two dollars spent on healthcare in the US. That means that we are already half way to socialized medicine.
There are 3 things that would improve our healthcare system a great deal.
1. Remove government restrictions on who can deliver healthcare. Governments role should be restricted to arresting people who lie about their skills or commit other types of fraud.
2. Get government out of healthcare financing. Competition and the market will produce the best system, though no one can predict exactly what that system will look like (other than that it will be better than the current system). (Imagine if government controlled and predicted the future of computer stuff).
3. Stop government incentives for employers to get involved in providing healthcare. Employers use to do the same thing with groceries...it was called the "company store". It takes choices away from the invididual. It is inefficient and not fair to low income or unemployeed. By the way, the best system ever devised to provide healthcare for poor people is private charity...right now government policies discourage private charitable healthcare.

Josef Woodman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.