Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy, the whores are us.”     P. J O'Rourke

July 23, 2007

“SiCKo” Patients Received Better Treatment than the Average Cuban

by Stephen Littau

Back in May in this post, I made the following statement about Michael Moore’s crockumentary on his claim that the average Cuban receives better healthcare than many Americans:

It probably won’t occur to anyone in the MSM that perhaps Castro would want Moore’s propaganda to cover up the failings of his government. Moore is doing Castro a great service by acting as his propaganda minister. Does anyone for a second believe that Castro would allow Moore to show these 9/11 heroes being treated as the average Cuban?

My basis for my comment was that in Moore’s previous efforts such as Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 911 he deliberately played fast and loose with the facts. History also shows that Communists lie. When you take a dishonest dictator and a dishonest individual such as Michael Moore you have propaganda (though each does a fine job of propagandizing on his own). Other than that, I had no other basis to assume that Moore’s movie SiCKo would have any misleading information…

That was until I stumbled across this Reuters article which repots that the 9/11 responders who Moore brought with him to Cuba received special VIP treatment:

The 9/11 responders spent 10 days on the 19th floor of Cuba’s flagship hospital with a view of the Caribbean sea, a sharp contrast to many Cuban hospitals that are crumbling, badly lit, and which lack equipment and medicine…

[...]

But the hospital where SiCKO’s patients were treated is an exception in Cuba, where patients of many other hospitals complain they have to take their own sheets and food.

The only question is whether or not Moore knew he was being conned or if he willingly participated to make his point. Does our healthcare system need improvement? Of course it does. But before we replace our system with one like Cuba’s, Canada’s, or England’s, shouldn’t we be just as critical of these systems as we are our own? Shouldn’t we at least try to find out what sort of problems the average citizens in these systems are dealing with before we throw ours away and replace it with a system which is possibly worse?

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16 Comments

  1. What’s that? Michael Moore presented less than honest “evidence” just to bolster a ludicrous argument? Color me shocked…SHOCKED…at this revelation.

    Michael Moore is the Democrats’ answer to George W. Bush. It doesn’t matter how much you have to distort, misrepresent, or lie about the facts of an issue as long as you personally believe your cause to be morally just…no matter how idiotic your beliefs actually are.

    Comment by UCrawford — July 23, 2007 @ 4:04 pm
  2. Clarification: By “you”, I’m referring to Bush and Moore, not Stephen Littau. Sorry, long day :)

    Comment by UCrawford — July 23, 2007 @ 4:05 pm
  3. Communists have been showing the Potemkin village to gullible fools for a long time. Plus ça change…

    Comment by Joshua Holmes — July 24, 2007 @ 9:43 am
  4. When interviewed, Michael Moore has been very clear; all systems have faults. The U.S. has no excuse when it fails to extract the best from each system to create a uniquely better system.

    Incidentally the Cuban health care system is favorably ranked. In fact, under the ALBA trade agreement Cuba trades education and health care in exchange for oil.

    I find it hard to believe that today people still get all freaked out when Cuba is mentioned. [A Cold War indoctrination instilled in otherwise intelligent people.] While I support free market economies, I do not consider communism or socialism as inherently “evil”. It is the leadership of all ideologies that make them such.

    Comment by Amy — July 24, 2007 @ 11:35 am
  5. Amy,

    Actually, I consider communism and socialism to be inherently evil. They discourage individual accomplishment, and rail against the very idea of individualism. They make it possible for government to steal money you’ve earned to give it to people who haven’t earned it under the premise of collective good. Their “gifts” to the world are stagnation, starvation, death, and inevitable collapse. The problems with communism and socialism aren’t the leaders who run those systems…the problem is that the systems themselves are inherently flawed.

    As for Cuba, I don’t really get freaked out by them, because they’re not really a threat to us. I just find it pathetic that idiots like Moore keep holding it and Castro up as some shining example of glorious government achievement when the reality shows it is anything but that. What galls me is the utter willingness of Moore to lie and distort the “facts” in his film to cover the rot. It’s more important for Moore to make an obviously slanted film to take his little potshots, score points with smear tactics, and look smart to the peanut gallery than it is for Moore to find actual solutions to the problems with the U.S. medical system (or anything else he’s ever covered). The man’s an attention whore and a fraud…dig beneath the ad hominum attacks and his policy positions have no more merit than Castro’s.

    Comment by UCrawford — July 24, 2007 @ 12:00 pm
  6. UC-
    I think you and I see Michale Moore’s documentaries in a different light. I do not see him using Cuba as a shining example, but as an ironic one. His style purposefully exemplifies the most egregious.

    Moore is the first one to say that his documentaries are slanted to one side. An approach he justifies with the premise that we have been inundated with the other viewpoint. He also states that his documentaries are to spark dialog among all of us for better solutions; not for him to provide the solution.

    This is a classic example of don’t shoot the messenger.

    Health care will not be addressed until we the people demand it. We need serious discussions that look at what a free market system could look like versus a universal plan.

    Comment by Amy — July 24, 2007 @ 12:31 pm
  7. Amy:
    “Health care will not be addressed until we the people demand it. We need serious discussions that look at what a free market system could look like versus a universal plan.”

    If any good can come from this film, it will be (as you said) a “serious discussion” about this issue. But before we can have a serious discussion, we have to sort out the facts from the lies and misinformation. I don’t have a problem with Moore making a biased film supporting his point of view; what I do have a problem with is his deliberate distortions, omitting inconvenient facts, and his overall dishonest approach. If he had confidence in his positions he would take the criticism head on without constructing straw men.

    I hope you will check back at The Liberty Papers from time to time as we will continue to write about this important issue. With the few posts I have written on Moore’s assertions in the film have barley scratched the surface (I haven’t even got into Canada’s or England’s healthcare woes) but I plan on getting into this issue in more depth in future posts.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

    Comment by Stephen Littau — July 24, 2007 @ 1:39 pm
  8. Amy,

    I think you’re giving Moore a little too much credit as someone who wants a serious discussion on health care and a little too forgiving of him as a propagandist trying to push a disastrous system of medicine on the United States. I do agree with you though that there are problems with the U.S. health system and that a full discussion is well overdue. My problem with Moore’s position, however, is that he excludes proponents of free market solutions from consideration while pushing solely government-sponsored ideas…which isn’t so much a case of Moore inviting serious discussion as it is Moore attempting to cram a one-sided argument down our throats.

    But in the interests of presenting the other side of the equation, here’s a link chock full of articles illustrating why socialized medicine is one of the worst ideas on Earth…not a lot of them were on Moore’s reading list I’m sure.

    http://www.angelfire.com/pa/sergeman/issues/healthcare/socialized.html

    Comment by UCrawford — July 24, 2007 @ 1:50 pm
  9. Stephen,

    And I look forward to reading your future articles about socialized health care in the countries you mentioned. I lived under the British NHS for six years while stationed overseas, and I can personally attest that there’s ample targets for criticism within that system.

    Comment by UCrawford — July 24, 2007 @ 1:54 pm
  10. UC:

    I would really like to hear more about your first hand experience. Maybe I can ask the other contributors if you could do a guest post here at The Liberty Papers on the subject. Would you be interested?

    Comment by Stephen Littau — July 24, 2007 @ 2:01 pm
  11. Stephen,

    I’d probably be interested. If you’d like to talk about it, I can be reached at the e-mail link on my profile page.

    Comment by UCrawford — July 24, 2007 @ 2:11 pm
  12. While I support free market economies, I do not consider communism or socialism as inherently “evil”.

    Why Socialism Requires Killing Fields

    (Note: essay only applies to state socialism, not libertarian socialism)

    Comment by Joshua Holmes — July 24, 2007 @ 4:12 pm
  13. Libertarian socialism?

    Comment by UCrawford — July 24, 2007 @ 4:24 pm
  14. Haha,

    The misconception in America is that the current system of providing health care is anything that resembles free market. In the past 30 years, governments, state and federal, have warped the health care market beyond recognition.

    Why does an health insurance company always interfere with the patient-doctor relationship today?

    Why do states have mandatory minimum coverage levels for health insurance?

    Why does everyone pay the same group rate in a health plan despite showing obvious different risk profiles?

    Why do corporations enjoy a special tax status for providing health insurance?

    Why does a state like Massachusetts mandate that everyone BUY health INSURANCE?

    Why do many health insurance plan cover technologies that are not at all affordable by the general public?

    I hate Michael Moore. Socialism is the same as settling for poverty.

    Comment by TanGeng — July 24, 2007 @ 5:09 pm
  15. Libertarian socialism?

    Emma Goldman, Mikhail Bakunin, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Josiah Warren, Lysander Spooner, Benjamin Tucker, Kevin Carson…

    Comment by Joshua Holmes — July 24, 2007 @ 6:00 pm
  16. Joshua,

    Your emphasis is interesting. I may not be “deep” enough to understand how the linked essay applies.
    Maybe you could summarize your point for me.

    Our economy at is best called mixed. We have one set of rules for the wealthy, another set for the impoverished– and the middle class foots the bill. We are a welfare state, which funds both ends of the spectrum–we have socialized policies for both corporations and the underlings. This includes our health care system.

    We have yet to experience a free market economy. Even form the get-go, the U.S. was established from the transferences of wealth, E.g. encroaching and warring the land from the Native Americans.

    I hope to see a true free market economy!!

    Comment by Amy — July 24, 2007 @ 6:44 pm

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