Leitmotif

Reason as the Leading Motive

A Liar and a Sicko

Posted by Jerry on July 25, 2007

In an article bluntly titled “More Lies from Moore,” Sally Pipes reveals just a few of the many distorted facts and outright fabrications that Michael Moore has in his sick movie. It is clear that the fat slob is not only a sicko but also a shameless liar:

The Supreme Court of Canada declared in June 2005 that the government health care monopoly in Quebec is a violation of basic human rights.

Government-run health care in Canada inevitably resolves into a dehumanizing system of triage, where the weak and the elderly are hastened to their fates by actuarial calculation.

Even the Toronto Star agrees that Moore’s endorsement of Canadian health care is overwrought and factually challenged. And the Star is considered a left-wing newspaper, even by Canadian standards. 

Moore further claimed that the infamously long waiting lists in Canada are merely a reflection of the fact that Canadians have a longer life expectancy than Americans, and that the sterling system is swamped by too many Canadians who live too long.

Canada’s media know better. In 2006, the average wait time from seeing a primary care doctor to getting treatment by a specialist was more than four months. Out of a population of 32 million, there are about 3.2 million Canadians trying to get a primary care doctor. Today, according to the OECD, Canada ranks 24th out of 28 major industrialized countries in doctors per thousand people.

Unfortunately, Moore is more concerned with promoting an anti-free-market agenda than getting his facts straight. Profit, according to the filmmaker-activist, has no place in health care – period.

Moore ignores the fact that 85% of hospital beds in the U.S. are in nonprofit hospitals, and almost half of us with private plans get our insurance from nonprofit providers. Moreover, Kaiser Permanente, which Moore demonizes, is also a nonprofit.

Go to We Stand FIRM for your one-stop shop for answers on all about SICKO and the free market solution to health care. There’s so much more of the fat man’s lies to be uncovered:

Having practiced medicine in both Cuba and the United States, Dr. Cordova has an unusual perspective for comparison.

“Actually there are three systems,” Dr. Cordova said, because Cuba has two: one is for party officials and foreigners like those Mr. Moore brought to Havana. “It is as good as this one here, with all the resources, the best doctors, the best medicines, and nobody pays a cent,” he said.

But for the 11 million ordinary Cubans, hospitals are often ill equipped and patients “have to bring their own food, soap, sheets — they have to bring everything.” And up to 20,000 Cuban doctors may be working in Venezuela, creating a shortage in Cuba.

…Until he had to have emergency surgery last year, Fidel Castro — who turned 80 this year — was considered a model of vibrant long life in Cuba. But it was only last week that he acknowledged in an open letter that his initial surgery by Cuban doctors had been botched. He did not confirm, however, that a specialist had been flown in from Spain last December to help set things right.

Here’s what Forbes had to say:

The Cuba example is the most naïve. It doesn’t seem to cross Moore’s mind that when you confiscate a nation’s private property, that yes, you can provide free dental care for public relations purposes.

…Moore is right that our system is messed up. But that may be due to it being a contorted free market system, with limited competition and little consumerism.

All that is too subtle for Moore, who seems convinced from the start that the only solution is a government takeover. That’s a scary thought. Do you want your doctors to treat you like you get treated at the Department of Motor Vehicles or in airport security lines? Or maybe we should let bad nurses work forever, like a unionized public school teacher. We now enjoy the latest medical device or drug, but will there be much more R&D in the future if a blockbuster pill can’t command a blockbuster price?

And I’ll end this post with an interesting observation by Grace-Marie Turner made in the Baltimore Sun:

If Michael Moore’s waistline ever puts him in the hospital for heart surgery, it will be interesting to see where he goes for medical care — the Mayo Clinic, or Cuba? [Link not available]

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12 Responses to “A Liar and a Sicko”

  1. Graham said

    Thanks. I hear too many good things about this film. I couldn’t even watch it to the end. Michael Moore is not a symbol America needs. Oh well.

  2. Ergo said

    Entry edited to add more links.

  3. Rambodoc said

    Ergo,
    There are some perspectives you could care to check out (I haven’t seen the movie myself). You can check it out here.
    One thing, though, don’t use the word ‘fat’ as an epithet. You alienate 66% of the US population that way! 🙂

  4. macmic said

    The Canada you describe, and those studies, however they were done, do not match my experience of life or healthcare in thise country. I do not know anyone (and I know lots of people, naturally) who has ever, *ever* complained about healthcare in Canada. We talk about it often, but no one I know is upset about anything with regards to it. I have just been referred to a specialist by my family doctor, and I haven’t heard back from the specialist yet. It’s been a week and a half, and my doctor followed up with me and urged me to call the specialist for an appointment, because he thought waiting a week before hearing back was long enough. I was prepared to give the specialist a window of a month! This matter (my condition) is important, but not especially urgent, so I’m not in a huge hurry.

    I cannot think that the studies and court decisions you quote offer any kind of categorical, conclusive or indisputable information about the Canadian healthcare system. Bottom line, nobody I have ever known has ever been afraid of a medical bill. I never even fully appreciated what one was until my early 20’s, because the whole concept was so foreign to me – like getting a school bill or a police bill!! We pay for all of that stuff in one comprehensive bill called tax, and it’s worth it for the peace of mind that a safe, healthy society offers.

  5. Rambodoc said

    Macmic,
    I am not from Canada, but have Canadian doctor friends who have talked of humongous waiting lists, like nine months for a colonoscopy or a surgery. And if your disease is non-fatal, like say knee-joint arthritis needing replacement, you are last in the queue. Clearly, Canadians wouldn’t go to the US for treatment if things are all rosy and fine, wouldn’t you say? That said, it is a fantastic country to see and, possibly, live in.

  6. Ergo said

    Macmic, I can see how you may have never felt the pinch of a socialized medical system, and the tax burden might perhaps not be much of a “burden” to you. I met an Irish man who similarly had no problem with his very high tax burden because he felt that if ever he needed some help, there will be welfare checks available for him.

    In other words, he didn’t mind having a gun pointed at his head demanding his money from him today, because he felt he could point the same gun at someone else if he wanted money for himself.

    The principle at debate here is fundamental Should I have the right to be generous with *your* money? Should I have the right to demand that *you* pay for the consequences of my actions? Should I be forced to pay for Michael Moore’s heart surgery cuz he’s become too damned fat?

    Now, remember that there’s no free lunch. Someone is always picking the tab. In a free market, the transaction involves only the parties that have to be *necessarily* involved, i.e., the sick patient, the physician, the healthcare institution, and the insurance company. Private individuals at all these levels will strive to reduce inefficiency and waste in their transactions as much as possible to minimize adverse consequences.

    With socialized healthcare, you will now involve a whole army of apathetic, impersonal, indifferent bureaucrats who have no *personal* stake in the efficiency of the transaction. So, now, not only have you invovled a whole army of un-interested players in the transaction, you also have to *PAY* for those players to be involved! You have to pay for an army of bureaucrats who do not function on the efficiency motive, do not care personally for your health nor worry about their own organization’s survival (since the tax money keeps flowing in, and the tax supply can always be increased), and for the huge amounts of red tape, wastages in paper, personnel, resources, and processes.

    But all of the above are merely consequences that come later from the fundamentally evil principle. The first casualty of socialized medicine will be the doctors and the drug companies: like all other traders, these are people engaged in a chosen *profession* and this is their *trade*, their livelihood, their way of making *money* for survival. The moment you take away their ability to make money, make more money, and reap the rewards of their trade, you are taking away their incentive to be in the trade and be good at it.

    Drug companies are motivated in pursuing the R&D of new drugs primarily because it is their *business*, their chosen money-making profession, to remain in business and support their families, employees, and stake-holders. They are in the business of *making money* by making new drugs. If you take away their profit incentive, they are no more in the business of making money by making new drugs; they become puppets of bureaucrats who know little about the business of making money; they become the hostages of socialists who extort not only their money but also their drugs from them.

    In short, socialism is simply evil at its root–and there can be no “benevolent” application of socialism in *any* sphere. This is a matter of principle. Thus, the particular concrete experiences of some who may not have personally experienced the evil of socialism is not a justification to enforce the evil on all people.

    Rambodoc (commented above) provides a link to his post in which he makes a very clear point:

    “… there is no free lunch, there is no free universal health care, there is only freedom. The concept should be easy to understand if you look at free speech as a basic right. Yes, you have the right to speak easy, but do you expect the Government to provide you with a free website, a free newspaper, and a free microphone so that it can shut you up from saying “These greedy capitalist industrialists and monopolies are not giving us our free speech”? And a gazillion words to that effect.
    Why should anything else be any different?”

  7. Rambodoc said

    Hey, hey, Ergo, hang on!
    THAT is MY quote, ok??
    🙂

  8. Krish Raghav said

    Okay. Let’s take this point by point.

    1. ‘Canada’s media know better. In 2006, the average wait time from seeing a primary care doctor to getting treatment by a specialist was more than four months. Out of a population of 32 million, there are about 3.2 million Canadians trying to get a primary care doctor. Today, according to the OECD, Canada ranks 24th out of 28 major industrialized countries in doctors per thousand people.’

    Moore’s Response (from Michealmoore.com, along with links)
    http://www.michaelmoore.com/sicko/checkup/
    (scroll down to ‘Canadian wait times…’)

    2. The stats on Canada’s life-expectancy are here: http://hdr.undp.org/hdr2006/pdfs/report/HDR06-complete.pdf

    3. Cuba’s Health-care: http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/brlatinamericara/300.php?nid=&id=&pnt=300&lb=brla

    and lower infant mortality rate: http://hdr.undp.org/hdr2006/pdfs/report/HDR06-complete.pdf

    I think it’s a little unfair to call them ‘distorted facts and outright fabrications’ of a ‘sick’ movie.

  9. Ergo said

    Oh! Rambodoc, I am so sorry! I misread your post then. It seemed like it was a continuation of Mattox’s review. I’ll edit my comment above and correct the misattribution of the quote. Thanks. 🙂

  10. Ergo said

    Krish, when you say “let’s take this point by point,” I’m expecting you to actually state your points or post some from excerpts of links; don’t just paste the links by themselves because you offer me nothing as motivaion to spend the time to click the links and read the articles–particularly when some of them link to sources that have zero credibility.

  11. Oh Well said

    Ergo,
    The moniker “fat” is perhaps factual, but “slob” is a little subjective, don’t you think? For an objectivist, you sure make a lot of subjective judgements – sick, slob, scum etc. 🙂 Just an observation

  12. Ergo said

    Oh well,

    Objectivists are allowed to have subjectivist emotional responses. We are not automatons. 🙂 Just a clarification.

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