Health Care and Michael Moore

I make it a point not to indirectly send money to Michael Moore by seeing any of his movies. However, I will read reviews so that I can keep up with the “talk” around town. Read this one. Michael Tanner starts with a very telling quote:

Time magazine reviewer Richard Corliss rejoiced, “The upside of this populist documentary is that there are no policy wonks crunching numbers.”

Wouldn’t want anyone messing up Moore’s fantasy with . . . facts.

After noting that a) sure, we have problems, but b) the 47million uninsured in this country are often eligible for medicaid or are only temporarily uninsured and c) even those that are uninsured get health care in this country.

Hospitals are legally obliged to provide care regardless of ability to pay, and while physicians don’t face the same requirements, few are willing to deny treatment because a patient lacks insurance. Treatment for the uninsured may well mean financial hardship, but by and large they do get care.

Also his examples in Canada and the UK, never mention the long waiting lists or the people around the world that specifically fly here to get treatment. It’s worth a read.

8 thoughts on “Health Care and Michael Moore

  1. Long waiting lists in Canada are an American myth. I’ve had surgery and procedures in Canada in far less time than it takes to get insurance company approval in the US.

    Reasonable wait times are for ELECTIVE surgery and procedures ONLY. SERIOUS illnesses go to the front of the line in ALL situations, as they do in emergency rooms. The number of Canadians who go to the US is wildly exaggerated too.

    Most Canadians who go for treatment to the US are in two Categories:

    1) People who think their condition is worse than their own physician says it is. They’re know-it-alls.

    2) People who go to the US for medically necessary procedures which are not available in Canada because they are (a) very highly specialized, or (2) the particular hospital is full and busy with equally ill patients. In these cases all expenses (both travel and medical) are paid by the province the patient lives in. The patient has no out of pocket expenses.

    There are far more Americans who come to Canada for both treatment and prescriptions than go in the other direction. Americans should concentrate on the busloads of Americans who come to Canada for medical reasons, and put that in perspective with the handful of Canadians who go to the US, many being in the know-it-all (know better than their physician) category.

    Canadians live 2.6 years longer than Americans.

    Americans treated for cancer in the US are 40.8% more likely to die of that cancer than Canadians treated for cancer in Canada, according to American Cancer Society and Canadian Cancer Society data.

    Gallup Poll:
    Satisfied with the availability to affordable health care: Americans 26% Canadians 57%

    Gallup Poll:
    Satisfied with the quality of their health care:
    Americans 48% Canadians 51%

    92% of Canadians wouldn’t trade the Canadian single payer system for the corrupt American system current or proposed.

    On a per capita basis, with the 10X population of the US, there are more medical innovations in Canada than in US.

    The US has significantly higher both infant mortality and maternal mortality than Canada.

    The US ranks last in health care outcomes when compared to Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand & the United Kingdom

    A 2008 report by the Commonwealth Fund ranked the US last in the quality of health care among the 19 compared countries, which includes Canada.

    World Health Organization:The United States ranked last out of 19 countries with respect to deaths which should have been preventable before the age of 75. Canada is among the 19 ranked above the US.

    The best way a Canadian politician has of getting elected is to be able to convince voters that his OPPONENT would adopt an American style health care system.

    The US health care system is generally of very low quality and kills 44,000 Americans because of insurance or lack of it.

    If you compare the Canadian health care system to the train wreck the US has, the Canadian system comes out WAY ahead by EVERY measure.

  2. Typo:

    World Health Organization:The United States ranked last out of 19 countries with respect to deaths which should have been preventable before the age of 75. Canada is among the 18 ranked above the US.

    18 not 19 ranked above the US, 19 nations in total.

  3. John,
    A couple things to note.

    A line is a line. We’re not big on lines down here whether for an elective procedure or not. And your personal history impacts the argument not at all. I’ve heard others.

    And “death” rates – there are a couple of things. There is a study out on lifestyle vs death rate. For our crappy bad food unexercised lifestyle, we do VERY well with our healthcare. 2. You don’t have the numbers of people and 3 I’ve also read that one of the things that happens is that here, we count a live birth as alive, even if they die 2 minutes later. Other places do not.

    It’s about freedom.
    It’s about government interference in our lives.
    It isn’t about deathrates and long lines.
    (this post was written in 97)

  4. Teri

    You have lines. They’e called insurance company approval.

    The four surgeries I’ve had have been done in 4 days, 6 days, 10 days and 16 days, shorter than would have waited for insurance company approval in the US. I always had to wait at least two months and sometimes three when I lived in the US.

    We have the freedom to not go bankrupt because of illness. Americans do not have that freedom. We have many more rights and freedoms than Americans have.

  5. Terri:

    Also, the fact that Canada has far better outcomes the the US shows which system is superior. I have always had far better medical care in Canada than I had during the seven years I lived in the US. The US has a third world medical system from what I’ve experienced.

    The US has lines beside two and three month waits for insurance company approval. If you’re among the 36% of Americans who aren’t insured sufficiently to cover their NEEDS, they can wait from the time they NEED a procedure, say age 35, until they can afford to have it, when they get to be 65 and are covered by Medicare, if they manage to survive that long. That’s a 30 year line…..

  6. Terri:

    Even if you rationalize the fact that, while Canada uses the same criteria for infant mortality that the US uses, and Canada has a lower infant mortality by 2 per 1000 live births, why does the US have a higher maternal mortality rate then? How do you intend to rationalize that? How about the fact that Canada has a lower rate of prevetable death under age 75? How are you going to rationalize that?

  7. It isn’t about the lines. It’s about free enterprise and the government taking from those who produce and giving to those who don’t or product less.

    Insurance company approval?? I don’t have to wait for my insurance company to approve anything.

    You go to the doctor, you get things done and then you file a claim. Not sure which country/insurance agent you’re thinking of.
    If the doctor says, it needs to be done, it’s done.
    If your insurance covers it, it’s covered, else you get billed.

    Mussolini had the trains run on time. Superior system? Maybe. Who cares? I don’t want that system. If you do, fine, stay in Canada.

    Why are you so upset with me not wanting that type of system?

    When I was broke and uninsured, and having problems I was always taken care of. Are there exceptions? Probably. Are there exceptions in Canada? Probably?
    Is our goal to make the statistics of Canada our statistics? I don’t think anyone has mentioned that as the goal.

    Is the goal to cover everyone with insurance even if they face jail time for not buying it? Apparently according to the latest bills out there.

    That’s not the system I want. Do I not get a voice?

  8. John,
    You found this blog through a very old post. I can only imagine you are this upset, not because of the old post, but because of what’s going on now.

    Currently the US Congress and President are not advocating for the Canadian system.

    They want health insurance for all.
    1 by requiring insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions. (similar to buying fire insurance while your house burns)
    2 by mandating that insurance companies charge the same amount of money for each of us no matter how healthy or unhealthy
    3 by requiring each of us to carry government approved insurance policies. (else live with the fine or go to jail)

    This small WSJ column that came out today spells it out pretty neatly.

    No one is looking to pass Canadian/New Zealand/Australian or any other type of health care. Michael Moore is generally known as a liar around here who makes entertaining movies about others while living as bad or worse than they do.

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