NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


August 1, 2007

Despite Michael Moore's lauding of Canada's health care system in his new movie, "Sicko," there's good reason why many Canadians with the money use either the services of a booming industry of illegal private clinics, or come to America to take advantage of the health care that Moore denounces, says Sally C. Pipes, president and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute.

For instance:

  • In 2006, the average wait time from seeing a primary-care doctor to getting treatment by a specialist was over 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 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Canada ranks 24th out of 28 countries in doctors per thousand people.

Unfortunately, Moore is more concerned with promoting an anti-free-market agenda than getting his facts straight.    He blasts U.S. providers for putting profit before patients, saying the former has no place in health care.  But Moore is ignoring a major point, says Pipes:

  • Some 85 percent of hospital beds in the United States are in nonprofit hospitals.
  • Almost half of U.S. citizens with private plans get insurance from nonprofit providers.
  • Moreover, Kaiser Permanente (a health care provider), which Moore demonizes, is also a nonprofit.

What's really amazing is that even the intended beneficiaries of Moore's propagandizing don't support his claims, says Pipes.  The Supreme Court of Canada declared in June 2005 that the government health-care monopoly in Quebec is a violation of basic human rights.

Source: Sally C. Pipes, "Michael Moore's New Film Irksome in Canada," Providence Journal/Korea Times, August 1, 2007.


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