The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sicko
Tom Smith

Here's something on Fat Mike's new movie Sicko.

Freedom isn't free, and if you had any doubt whether the first amendment was free, I offer you Michael Moore.  The post above makes the point that obese, none-too-healthy guys like MM are one of the drains on the US health system.  But my point is, does anybody have the faintest doubt that if Herr Michael had a serious health problem, of a life threatening variety, such as a serious heart attack, or cancer, he would be checking in to a facility that offered the best medical care on earth, which it is repetitive to say, would be in the US of A.  The kind of medical care you can get in Cuba may be good enough for the little people, but there is no way he would let them touch his beached whale of a person when the chips were down.  He would be in UCLA medical center or the Mayo Clinic before you could say, workers of the world unite.  The prospect of imminent death does that to one.  The chances that this would change his views are approximately zero.

While I'm on this topic, I'm told a place that has a lot of very good medical care is India.  Not their health care system; I just mean a lot of high level medical care goes on there.  And, I'm told, it is very largely just fee-for-service.  Maybe not-a-doctor Moore should check India out.

WELCOME Instapundit readers.  As this is my post, I will react to some of the comments here.  No, I do not mean to be saying that if you are fat, you cannot complain about our health care system.  I believe fat people have the same rights as everybody else.  I don't think Mr. Moore's comments on anything are welcome, not because of his girth, but because I regard him as the worst sort of political hypocrite.   My point rather is that because of his obviously impending poor health, he is going to be needing some serious health care soon, and it ain't gonna be Cuba where he gets it.  As a person who is certainly not fat, but who has certain body mass related issues, I would be the last person to say that persons who body mass indexes are well above the (ridiculous) recommended AMA index level, should not be allowed to comment to their heart's delight on anything.  Now that you've made me say this, you've made me self conscious enough that I'm going skip the potato chips at lunch.  I hope you're happy.

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Comments

Yeah, India has inexpensive health care. For almost nothing, I had my appendix out in India in 1966. Scariest moment of my life. There were cats chasing cockroaches around the operating room as I was wheeled in on a gurney with three round and one flat wheel. In fact if we had wanted to make money off the operation we certainly could have -- my wife could have charged admission from the hundreds of gawkers who paraded through the room to see me stretched out naked and sedated on the table as I was being shaved. Of course that was 50 years ago. Many things have certainly changed, including me. F

Posted by: F | May 24, 2007 6:56:26 AM

India is particularly well known for a technique called hip resurfacing -- an alternative to total hip replacement suitable for younger patients. I couldn't begin to recite all the happy customers I've read about on the net. For example, one guy ran a marathon just three months after his procedure in India -- and then he nearly completed a triathalon three months after that!

Posted by: efarr | May 24, 2007 7:19:04 AM

1966 was 50 years ago? Many things have certainly changed but simple math is the same Mr. F. One of us can't account for 9 years. ~;o)

Posted by: Matthew | May 24, 2007 7:20:50 AM


So the point is, if you're fat you can't complain about the US health care system?

Posted by: Labamigo | May 24, 2007 7:23:54 AM

Which reminds me of the 60's and 70's, when leftie fools were extolling Communist China's "barefoot doctors".

Posted by: pst314 | May 24, 2007 7:24:44 AM

Sweet sassy molassey! We may not have universal coverage, but we most certainly do have universal healthcare inthe United States. Just ask any emergency room or urgent care practitioner (like my spouse). People with NOTHING can get access to top drawer care, reduced cost medicines and other options in the USA. Almost all of it on demand.

Here is the rub, you have to go get it. A lot of folks will ignore basic, cheap prophylactic health care in favor of crisis health care. No system anywhere in the world provides more consistent care for 300 million people.

Nowhere.

Posted by: Citizen Deux | May 24, 2007 7:31:11 AM

The point is that "fat" people like Michael Moore are not going to go to Cuba when they are sick, he is going to stay right here, and the service will be a drop in the bucket for him. Thank God we have a capitalistic society so I do not have to travel to another country when I am severely ill.


Chris Heinsen

Posted by: Chris | May 24, 2007 7:33:22 AM

While I agree the US system is far from perfect, did Mr. Moore in his movie address the questions of:

1. Why did the Candanian Supreme Court recently rule the lack of provate health care providers in canada unconstitutional (with the words - "access to a waiting list is not access to health care")?

AND

2. If the Cuban system is so great, why did Castro fly in a specialist from Spain to do an operation that most general surgeons in the US could perform?

Posted by: Blue State Conservative | May 24, 2007 7:39:50 AM

@Blue State Conservative:

1 is not correct, the ruling was specific to Quebec with regards solely to extended waiting times. Due to oddities of Canadian Law, rulings on Quebec issues usually do not result in precedent for the rest of the country (As Quebec law is Civil Law, based on the Napoleonic Code, the rest of the country uses Common Law). Ironically, Canada's only private hospital is in Vancouver, BC.

2. The obvious, the Cuban system is a disaster for the most part, the exceptions being the hospitals dedicated for tourist/nomenklatura use (which occasionally treat locals for propoganda purposes)

Posted by: Adam Maas | May 24, 2007 7:50:28 AM

I'm not real comfortable with the "Fat people can't complain about medical care" either. For one thing, many Americans are fat. I'm fat. Fatness is a reality. I'd guess the reason it costs so much isn't that it's so dire, but that it's so prevelant. Furthermore, do fat people have something to complain about? If we do, then that suggests MM has a point. If we can't take care of our biggest medical problem, then we have a crappy medical system. The meme that "Fat people can't complain because they're causing all the problems in the medical system" isn't an argument back, it's a retreat from the argument. It implies there ARE problems with the medical system.

And sure, there are, but not in comparison to the Canadian or Cuban system.

So can we pull back on the fat-calling? It was funny after the book "Fat White Guys," because of the irony of MM complaining about HIMSELF. But mocking his weight after he makes a movie about health care is a bit of a non-sequiter.

Posted by: Daniel | May 24, 2007 7:59:10 AM

Exactly. I've been talking with a British friend lately who is much happier with the health care system here in the US. We all know doctors are the prime financial beneficiaries, with drug companies and hospital adminstrators close behind. But somehow, that doesnt strike most of us as unfair. For example, high drug costs fund the most sophisticated research in the world. You could then argue about how the medical profession manipulates health care, such as chiropractice and over-dispensing drugs, but these issues are more managerial than economic.

Posted by: David | May 24, 2007 8:34:44 AM

Due to oddities of Canadian Law, rulings on Quebec issues usually do not result in precedent for the rest of the country (As Quebec law is Civil Law, based on the Napoleonic Code, the rest of the country uses Common Law). Ironically, Canada's only private hospital is in Vancouver, BC.

--While true, Quebec is also among the most liberal of provinces, so if this ruling can be issued there, it would likely be followed in more conservative ones.

Posted by: red | May 24, 2007 9:22:49 AM

The news that I heard this morning on the radio was that Castro has admitted that he has not been around much because his first two intestinal surgeries "did not go well." So El Jefe - the man most likely to command the absolute best from the Cuban system - almost got killed by the incompetence of his doctors. Ah, how wonderful it must be to be a Leftist propagandist like Mr. Moore - nary a care in the world that truth might get in the way of a good story.

Posted by: Wildmonk | May 24, 2007 11:08:40 AM

Funniest thing I heard about this was teh Canadian guy who thought the movie was garbage. Funny how Canadians who lives with Socialized medicine don't like it nearly as much as the leftist liberal dopes down here.

Posted by: Brian | May 24, 2007 11:33:32 AM

"If we can't take care of our biggest medical problem, then we have a crappy medical system"

The medical system isn't the reason you're fat. You're the reason you're fat. Take responsibility for your body. I say this as someone who's lost 120 lbs. I know how it feels to be morbidly obese, but I also know what it takes to change that. And the first step is admitting that YOU are the only person who can do anything about your weight. Of course fat people should be allowed to critize our healthcare system, but I don't think it's out of bounds to point out that fatties like Jabba Moore are partly responsible for overtaxing the system with ailments that are preventable with some self control.

Posted by: nightwitch | May 24, 2007 10:39:03 PM

If we could just get through to all the affluent liberals that their kids are going to be guaranteed no better health care that is available to the children on an Indian Reservations, we wouldn't hear another word out of them.

You see, for them, equal means that you get the waiting lists and shortages. They think that they will continue to get the top notch medical care that they always have.

Universal care means universal waiting and equally bad care.

Posted by: John Dunshee | May 25, 2007 4:42:12 AM

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