NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

"SICKO" SERVES UP HEALTH CARE LIES

July 5, 2007

Congressional leaders who have spent decades promoting a government-run health care system for the United States are abuzz about Michael Moore's new film, "Sicko," hoping it will sway a new generation of voters to support their agenda.

But heaven forbid that Congress would wind up making policy based upon propaganda -- because that is exactly what would happen if anyone were to base any health reform proposals on Moore's film, says Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute.

  • For example, Moore ignores the limits, restrictions on access, and rationing of care in single-payer health care systems in Canada, the United Kingdom and elsewhere.
  • In Canada, more than 800,000 people are on waiting lists for surgery and other medical treatment, with some forced to wait months or even years for the care they need.

One of Moore's core arguments is that profit in the health sector is evil and that we should rid our health care system of private "for-profit" physician practices, hospitals and suppliers.  He and other single-payer advocates are convinced that a generous and benevolent government would put doctors and hospitals back in charge of decisions.  But this isn't the case, says Turner:

  • In our own government-run health care systems -- Medicare, Medicaid and the Department of Veteran Affairs - government micromanagement and price controls are the norm.
  • Government makes decisions about what will be covered, under what circumstances and for whom, and how much doctors and hospitals will be paid for their services.
  • And government seldom gets it right -- overpaying for some and underpaying for others, but also inducing over-consumption of health care.

Source: Grace-Marie Turner, "Marie Turner: `Sicko' serves up health care lies," Pasadena Star News, July 4, 2007.

 

Browse more articles on Health Issues