NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

POLICY BUFFS CAN SEE ALL THE DEFECTS IN "SICKO"

July 16, 2007

Michael Moore's documentary "Sicko" is full of errors and omissions, but that is almost beside the point, says John C. Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis.  Since the stated purpose of the film is to compare the worst features of American health care with the best features of health care in Britain, Canada, France and even Cuba, who can complain about a few errors here and there?

Moore told ABC's Good Morning America that, in Britain and Canada, people "have a basic core belief that if you get sick, you have a human right to see a doctor and not have to worry about paying for it."

If you have never tried to see a doctor in Britain or Canada, you might even believe it. People who actually live there, however, know they have no right to any particular health care service.  Far from enjoying a "right to health care," people in other countries often wait for needed care.  For example:

  • In Britain, about 1 million are waiting to be admitted to hospitals at any one time.
  • In Canada, more than 876,000 are waiting for treatment of all types.
  • In New Zealand, the number of people on waiting lists for surgery and other treatments is more than 90,000.

Patients who wait are often waiting in pain.  Many are risking their lives.  People have to wait for care because of a conscious decision by the government to limit health care resources.  When Moore boldly asserts that Britons "wouldn't trade their NHS cards for his Blue Cross card," he could not be more wrong.  In fact, people in other countries often have to pay out of pocket for care that has been denied them by the government.

Source: John C. Goodman, "Film buffs may praise Moore's 'Sicko,' but policy buffs can see all its defects," Dallas Morning News, July 16, 2007.

 

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