NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 25, 2007

Michael Moore may make good documentaries, but his sunny reports about socialized health care don't seem to be all too representative, says David Whelan in Forbes Magazine.

Take Cuban medical care, says Whelan:

  • Roberta Gianfortoni, a dean at the Harvard School of Public Health, says doctors in Cuba know how to do many procedures but that doesn't mean those procedures are actually available.
  • As Moore reports, the government only spends $250 per person on health -- not much room in there for things like major surgery.
  • 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.


  • As Moore points out, Canada is able to offer cheap drugs, and France and Britain can use imaging machines while emphasizing how everything's free.
  • But what isn't mentioned is that those innovations would not have been developed by private companies if there was no profit motive.
  • After all, governments would be more inclined to ration care and have little market incentive to invest in technology, whereas in a competitive system, each hospital needs the most advanced devices.

Overall, you can't blame insurance companies and not also blame the U.S. government for creating and then never fixing the work-based insurance system we all endure, says Whelan.  In addition, where's the blame for the state regulators who handcuff insurers from offering innovative products by forcing plans to all have the same features?  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.

Source: David Whelan, "Sicko's Shortcuts," Forbes, June 21, 2007.


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