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Smackdown:  Moore vs. Gupta on ‘Larry King Live’

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Posted on Jul 11, 2007
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Larry King capitalized on the heated showdown between Michael Moore and CNN’s “The Situation Room” by conducting a rematch between Moore and Dr. Sanjay Gupta on his show Tuesday night.  Moore, when he appeared on “Situation Room” earlier this week, denounced host Wolf Blitzer and reporter Gupta.

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By Steve, July 30, 2007 at 11:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ernest Canning,

My apologies I may well be incorrect, my comment was based on a personal experience with someone who was just visiting and they went to the doctor in our town, and as they were a tourist were charged 20 pounds to see him.
However in an ER situation they probably don’t check.

I always used to moan about the NHS (British health care) but after being in the states for a number of years now, i didn’t know i had it so good when i was in the UK!

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By Neighbor, July 29, 2007 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Paolo,  when you use the word stupid you just shut everyone out.  During the adolescent stage of development in life their is a sense of invulnerability to injury and disease.  Adolescence is from 13 to 25 years of age.  So do you think maybe its a clever idea to have socialized medicine to cover this age group?  And what about orphans, and the mentally retarded and mentally ill, and the addicts and the religious families with 10 kids and no money because dad suffered a traumatic brain injury and mom has breast cancer.  Who is going to fill out the health insurance (don’t check box if you don’t want hospitalization coverage, check box if you only want partial coverage which includes dental and emergency but not hospitalization, don’t check box if you don’t want dental, see page 343a…) forms for these people. 

Paolo, I suggest you volunteer at a place where they offer prevention services for families with disabilities.  Experience some reality, come out of your ivory tower and walk with me in America. 

Your friend and neighbor who has nothing to offer you but peace,
Mary

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By cann4ing, July 27, 2007 at 8:00 pm Link to this comment

Steve, Moore’s film included a guy who got treated in the UK for free even though he was there as a tourist after he took a tumble on Abbey Road.  Are you sure you have to have an NI number to get treated?

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By Steve, July 27, 2007 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The fact is , health care is free in the UK.

as weather you pay taxes or not in the UK you will get treated. As long as you have a national insurance number, you WILL get treated whatever the cost.

Yes it is part of the tax system we pay a NI contribution ( national insurance) which is governed by your income level ..i.e the less you earn the less you pay. Also the NI contribution is not just ‘medical type insurance it cover a great deal of other services etc.

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By P. T., July 16, 2007 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

We eventually will get a single-payer system because the current system will collapse.  Because inflation runs much higher in health care than the general rate of inflation, the system we have now keeps eating up a bigger percentage of GDP:  We can’t afford it.  As in other industrialized countries, costs will have to be contained.

But why should we have to wait for the insurance and drug companies to bilk every last cent they can out of the current system before we change systems?

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By anchordi, July 16, 2007 at 3:13 am Link to this comment

Ernest Canning is right on the money.  Let me guess, Paolo is at least one of the following: job with great med insurance, young and thinks bad things happen to other people, does not experience any chronic disease such as diabetes or kidney, or has not had a serious illness or life threatening injury.  In the blink of an eye, your company merges and doesn’t offer what you have now, goes belly up, you get layed off, you get in a car wreck and can’t work anymore. 

If you have managed to attain any assets thus far, all are at risk without med insurance.  I’m paying $800 a month for COBRA right now, and it has a deductible of $5000, and that’s as a widow (young one) from a major wall street firm. With 3 young kids, I’m out of insurance when COBRA is over, about 2 years total.  Then I have to figure it out.  Its never far from my mind, and I hope you will never have to worry about keeping your assets.  I worry more about losing what I have then my health, (though excellent).

Its the profit driven health industry that we need to throttle.  I brought my daughter to the ER (ear infection)in Sweden and since I was not covered by their system, it cost me a total of $30, and they just gave me the medicine (no pharmacy needed).  The wait was about 40 mins.  It was also interesting that Sweden does not allow drug advertising, and you cold medicine, aspirin, are not displayed in the open.  You have to tell the pharmacist your ailment and they offer you solutions.  Bet they have fewer pill popping citizens then we do. 

Thank you Michael Moore!  For having the talent to stir things up in a meaningful way.  Sanjay came out playing devils advocate, and worse.  Rather than looking at where Moore got his info, he made assumptions and accused Moore of ‘Fudging’ the facts.  In the original CNN piece he gave little if any support for the cause, and focused on a few numbers.  I think its pretty sad that we are only 2 steps away from Cuba on the WHO list yet pay (Sanjay $6000) (Micheal $7000 and climbing) vs Cuba $25, $200, $300, does it really matter which number is the right one?  They all are estimates anyway.  Cuba is also a very poor country, but all their people are covered.  We have 47 million not covered and pay, lets see, at least 20 times more (6000 vs 300) and Cuba still has a lower birth mortality rate than we do. Sanjay: why didn’t you just ease over that discrepancy and move on.  People like my mom will now think that Moore has a movie out that is filled with lies. Shameful!

Worrying about higher taxes for universal care should be the least of our concern.  Can you imagine how much our taxes will rise in the future because of our new war debt?  Now there is something to bitch about.

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By cann4ing, July 15, 2007 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment

Paolo:  Your suggestion that taxes paid into single payer should be voluntary is, with all due respect, absurd.  Could you imagine what would happen to public education if only the poor paid the taxes for it?  Ditto any other essential service.  Would you limit the payment of taxes that go to the defense budget only to those who want to serve in the military?  (Hmmm, now there’s an idea that would take the bombs out of the hands of our feckless president).

It is truly unfortunate that the level of greed in this nation has reached the point that individuals like yourself would feel they have no obligation toward the good of the whole.  This “I’ve got mine to Hell with everyone else” attitude is precisely why this nation is in such a fix. 

“The test of progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”
—President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

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By Paolo, July 15, 2007 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment

Big Pharma, Big Government, and Big Insurance have essentially colluded to ensure a consistent flow of money to all three. Libertarians such as myself (though technically I’m a Democrat) refer to this type of unholy alliance as “the invisible handshake.” This is what you get when you call for “partnership” between government and business.

For those who call for a “single payer” system, I have a challenge. If you support this concept, why not make participation in “single payer” voluntary? That is, if you voluntarily pay the extra taxes, you get the “single payer” coverage. If you elect not to pay those taxes, the government will not pay your bill. What percentage of citizens would voluntarily pay for such a system?

Oh, I know. The government is mystically endowed with a special wisdom that the rest of us poor folks don’t have. The government has to force us to pay for stuff because people are too stupid to make such judgments themselves. The premise here is: people are too stupid to do what’s in their own best interest; the government has to protect them from their own stupidity.

I don’t think either Michael Moore or Sanjay Gupta are anywhere close to advocating a just medical system. A pox on both of them.

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By anchordi, July 15, 2007 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment

We desparately need to change to a government sponsered healthcare system.  Those who worry about resulting higher taxes or medicare going broke need to understand that we have a profit based medical system.  Bush even made sure that the new medicare drug bill would not allow competition for drug prices, not even generics!  Group insurance has become so expensive that the new trend is for employers to instead partially reimburse employees for health insurance/medical costs. 
The money we have all paid into the system was suppose to be in a trust account, earning interest, and waiting for our use.  Had that occurred, we would most likely be doing quite well.  But since the beginning, this has never been done.  The Government has freely used our money for war, etc., apparently not even calling it a loan, and that plays a large role into medicare going broke.  The drug lobby folks work hard to make sure we continue to feed the drug cos. profits.  Hospitals, clinics, and insurance companies are for profit organizations. 
Sad news for Doctors, in countries that have Gov’t systems, the Docs income is comensurate with the lower costs.  That might be why in Russia there are more female doctors than male.  I’ll bet that anyone that has a strong feeling against this, has not traveled abroad or studied this subject for very long.  I think making health care available to everyone is one of the most important issues facing our nation.  I would gladly pay more taxes and wait an extra day to see the doctor if it meant all could get care. 
And to not worry if some treatment I need to save my life or my child’s is rejected by the insurance co.  Example: my late husband had a preexisting back injury (ruptured disk).  When the cancer spread to his bones and then to his back, they were going to try and not cover him because of the preexisting back injury!  I fixed that, but how many would be too timid to do anything?  Focusing on profits is not what I want someone caring for my life to be thinking about.

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By Mary, July 15, 2007 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Back in 1979 my sister Ginger was 24 years old, I was 14.  (I have 7 siblings in total).  Ginger had some lower back pain and saw a doctor who prescribed some pain pills.  She got married and during and just after her honeymoon she was in unbearable pain.  Ginger and her husband moved starting their life together. They were looking for jobs.  They did not have health insurance.  With the pain unbearable, she started to look in medical books and she diagnosed herself.  She went to a doctor and told him her symptoms and he ran tests and found she was right- she had Hodgken’s disease.  She was in stage 3 B.  Very bad. My parents took her to Sloan Kettering.  They started her on chemo.  The bills were coming in and she was dying and crying because of the bills.  BUT… the man she married was from ENGLAND! Guess what, there is a God, and she went to England.  The doctor from SKMC faxed the prescription/treatment over and 20 years later she is ALIVE and cancer free and bill free. 
Also, on the way back from the airport my 52 year old mother at the time had a stroke.  She had just gotten hospitalization insurance - never had thought about it before my sister’s situation. She had surgery and is also ALIVE and 80 years old.  Dr. Gupta, Todd and other nonbelievers - don’t you get it now? IF not, humanity has left your souls and you never will and neither will us Americans who work our lives away so corporate greed can suck the life from us and this planet.
Thank you Micael Moore,
May you all experience Peace & Love ... Mary

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By Marshall, July 14, 2007 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment

#86331 by Larry666 on 7/12 at 1:06 pm

<<Rescind the tax cuts, get out of Iraq, cut the Pentagon budget by half, slash corporate welfare to the bone, and THEN we’ll be able to afford universal health care.>>

Why would we possibly want to do that?  Federal tax revenue has increased substantially since the tax cuts.  Raising taxes would stifle the economy and lower federal tax revenues - then your “free” healtcare would go out the window.

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By WHAT, July 14, 2007 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I wish the gov. would pay for my food, healthcare, shelter, education and still give me money to spend.  Oh wait they do..  All I need now is free transportation.

Your Friend,

Ted from the projects

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By P. T., July 14, 2007 at 12:02 am Link to this comment

Gupta is confused.  Medicare’s financial problems are caused by the private healthcare system.  The reason is because inflation in U.S. healthcare far exceeds the general rate of inflation.  Other industrialized countries limit inflation in the healthcare sector.

Medicare, with its far lower administrative costs, is actually more cost-effective than private insurance.

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By Chaseme, July 13, 2007 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Who pays Goopta? Is he really a doctor, or is he a reporter?

Can he help people, while at the same time hurting them? Is it fair to pay a hitman to injury people, so that they can come to you to be treated for their injuries?

This is where the line with Michael is very clear and the one with Goopta is extremely blurred.

If Goopta really want to help people, maybe as a neurosurgeon, he can start with the problems that exist in the brain of the president. Or, will that take the work of an archeologist to find it first?

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By cyrena, July 12, 2007 at 11:57 pm Link to this comment

#86415 by CitizenDefender on 7/12 at 5:00 pm

CitizenDefender,

I remember these days as well. The days of the 70’s. Now that I am actually eligible for these programs, they don’t do a damn bit of good. The Medicare portion to the docs now, is really next to nothing, and of course for procedures that are far more urgent than elective hysterectomis.

Now, I need at least 3 payers, to cover most anything, and that’s on top of the increased premiums for Medicare, and the so-called drug benefit, that isn’t a benefit at all. When one is no longer working, a 100.00 bottle of medicine is no more “attainable” than a 200.00 bottle of medicine.

Hard times.

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By cann4ing, July 12, 2007 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment

Hey Todd! If the UK system is so bad, and they rank way above us, what does that say about ours?  Do you bother to read the blather you writebefore you post it?

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By CitizenDefender, July 12, 2007 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment

So glad to see Michael putting Gupta in his place on CNN and Larry King.
  Universal Health Care, I pleaded for it when I worked and am ashamed that greed has prevented it from taking hold in the United States.
  Doctors in 1970 were thought of as Gods by a lot of patients. Women could get hysterectomies almost more easily than pediatric patients got tonsillectomies. 
      Medicare and Medi-Cal over time helped decrease the fraud and overpricing that physicians had been committing over the years. That was a bitter pill for them to swallow. It made them more human again.
  Medi-Cal would require a pre approval before treatment that often resulted in the Doctor getting checks for $0.99 per office visit. It infuriated more than one doctor that I knew. Eventually, they stopped accepting Medi-Cal patients.
  Pharmaceutical companies: “Wine and dining”, “free trips”, “free memberships”, “tuition reimbursements”......still a problem, but their day is coming too.
  Tylenol got its’ debut around 1972 when Reyes Syndrome hit and kids were getting put on mechanical ventilation because of Aspirin.    Aspirin use for treating fever in children caused the influenza or chickenpox virus to cross the blood-brain barrier. The NSAIDs are still overused nowdays. I have been and continue to be pro-patient and believe every American citizen has the right to FREE healthcare. 
  Gutpa has the typical MD (Mad Dog…...thinks he is Top Dog) mind set that I was used to dealing with when working.
  Michael gets to the heart of the issue.

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By Larry666, July 12, 2007 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

Speaking of being “awash in taxes,” President Bush slashed taxes by a trillion dollars shortly after taking over in 2001.  Then he involves us in an utterly pointless war which will end up costing us somewhere in the neighborhood of one to two trillion dollars.  But spending continues unabated.  This is fiscal madness.  The “tax and spend” Democrats have been replaced by the “cut taxes and continue to spend” Republicans.

Rescind the tax cuts, get out of Iraq, cut the Pentagon budget by half, slash corporate welfare to the bone, and THEN we’ll be able to afford universal health care.  This government needs to be responsive to people other than the fabulously wealthy.

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By rage, July 12, 2007 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I didn’t know Sanjaya was a neurosurgeon and right wing ideological pundit. What was he ever doing on Idol? Testing the campaign waters maybe?

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By Todd, July 12, 2007 at 11:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How can you all just give Moore the free pass on his “pronounciation” of Sanjay Gupta’s name????!?!?!  It is just as bad as Amato’s Judge Ito imitation, only worse!

Now, “Free” Healthcare, whoo-hoo!  I can’t wait.  I lived in the UK for several years, their health system sucks.  Like really, really sucks.  Waiting months for routine tests is not a matter of “personal convenience”.  Everyone who can afford it has private insurance and goes around the NHS.  And you get your tests done immediately.

Now, let’s also define no access to healthcare.  What a bold-faced lie.  Everyone has access to healthcare.  It is illegal for a doctor or hospital to deny care.  What you are really wanting is access to someone paying all your health bills.  Totally different story.

And why should healthcare be provided by the government???  Because it is important for a healthy life??  What about food, shelter?  Why don’t we just move to that model, and have the government do everything for??  Oh yeah, that was tried already, and approximately 100 million people died die to Communism.

If you can’t make it through life without the government wiping your arse, then you don’t deserve to live in a country as great as the United States.  There are billions of people who would love the opportunity to change places with you.

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By cann4ing, July 12, 2007 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

Marshall once again marshals a bogus argument.  He states that Moore describes the “symptoms” that are plagueing the U.S. health care system but fails to describe the causes.

Marshall has obviously not seen Sicko or actually listened to what Moore has said about it.  Moore zeros in on the “cause”—Marshall’s heroes—corporations, profit, greed!  The entire focus of Sicko is how the motive of maximizing profits that enrich the billionaire CEOs of the health care insurers is manifestly at odds with the need of our many citizens to have access to quality care that will not leave them bankrupt.  While Marshall asserts that Moore hates Republicans, Sicko, in truth and in fact, targets all politicians who sell their souls for health care insurance industry dollars.  Sicko praised Hillary Clinton’s 1992 effort to bring about universal coverage then reveals how she has since been bought off as the second highest Senate recipient of health care insurance industry campaign contributions.  What Sicko reveals is that it is not just the U.S. health care system which is ill.  The power of corporate money to buy off politicians, to control what we hear and see in the conglomerated corporate media and to pervert government of the people, by the people and for the people into a tool that enriches the few at the expense of the many is corrupt to the core

Marshall, without citing a single source, tells us that socialized systems must also turn a profit.  Really?  Our police and fire services are socialized systems.  When is the last time they were required to “turn a profit?”

To James Crawford:  You are right, Gupta is a corporate shill.  While Moore aptly refuted every one of Gupta’s manufactured “facts,” Gupta succeeded in his core goal, to change Sicko’s core focus, because Larry King skillfully confined the interaction to a debate over Gupta’s bogus challenge to Sicko “facts.”  When you do that, you can ignore Sicko’s primary theme which strikes at the core of how corrupt our crony capitalist system has become.  While this core message would have been missed by the ideologically blinded, like Marshall, it is one that was not lost on the millions of Americans who have already gone to watch this marvelous documentary.

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By Stephen Shipley, July 12, 2007 at 8:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have had dental problems for years.  I have heart and lung problems.  They are not attended to because I cannot afford the care I need. The problems only grow worse, despite my best efforts. Can you imagine such a life, Dr. Gupta?

Dr. Gupta, please, help us form a line, and let me stand in line.  I would be ever so much happier if only I had good health.  I realize that means that you would also have to stand in line, and that is not something you relish, but I NEED care.  Do you?  Do you have health issues you cannot afford to address?  Do you have missing teeth?  Do you have jaw complications?  Of course not!  You get sick, you get care.

And what about when a parent cannot afford to take care of their children’s health, are they supposed to be grateful that America’s health care, for those who get it, is wonderful?

I can only hope to survive to 65 so that I can get the care that I need.  Of course, the problems will be much more severe, if curable, by then.

The health care system we have is America at its worst.  It reveals something basic about our society. We believe in elitism.  Some are more deserving of good health, by “virtue” of wealth.

Would Dr. Gupta care to trade places with me and give me his new assessment of health care in America?

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By cyrena, July 12, 2007 at 3:22 am Link to this comment

Comment#86138 by James on 7/11 at 8:58 pm

Dear James,

Just to ease your mind, we KNOW that not all doctors are like Gupta. And, you’ll soon be joining the ranks of those wonderful doctors that would simply never sell out.

Gupta has, as have many others. But, not the bulk of you. So…keep reading and leaning the trade. We need you.

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By jim crawford, July 12, 2007 at 2:22 am Link to this comment

Mein Gott,
  For several minutes there, Dr Gupta was behaving like John Stossel whose logic, or lack thereof, often defies belief.  “Our schools are failing because” followed by a screed of distorted statistics and irrelevantly inaccurate conclusions. Or the famous “See!  The environmentalists are wrong.  You CAN swim in the Hudson River!’‘, failing to mention that if someone can swim in the Hudson River today [which I wouldn’t advise] only because the environmentalists have been working for near thirty years to clean the river up.

  So with Gupta, who apparently feels compelled to knock Sicko and Moore and thus picks a different set if numbers to work with, and having done so claims that Moore’s numbers are wrong.  Apparently Dr Jay has never heard of a moving average, or of the fact that if you use sets of figures from two different organizations, or two different time periods, you’re going to get different numbers.  This in fact is journalism at its absolute worst, and a grotesque example of one of the major failings of our mainstream so-called “media,” which for the most part doesn’t doo [yes, a pun] much other than sell toilet paper, real estate, drugs, insurance policies, and cars.

  Think about the last time you saw on our television stations a thorough analysis of the health care systems of other nations.  When was that?  You don’t remember it, do you?  That’s because there are so few of them, and the reasons for that fact I think we can all figure out.  If not, take a wild guess.  [See paragraph 2, above]

  Almost as though Gupta was very limited in his time frame and needed something quick to work up that would make Moore’s film look bad and make himself look like a journalist.  Thus, nit picking the numbers, because that’s the easiest way to make someone else look bad, even though, as we used to say at the boat yard, you might be full of ship.

  And of course, get a couple of insurance/pharma flacks to make brief critical statements, and viola [pun there too], you have a story that deceptively appears to have some sort of rational analysis put into it.

  So much for mainstream tv journalism.  Next we’ll be demanding that the tv guys give us some sort of history lesson every now and again about important countries in the news.  Iraq maybe.  2002 would have been good.  Start with 1908 maybe.  Heckuva job, fellahs!

Regards,
    jim crawford  
    Westwood NJ

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By James, July 11, 2007 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

After watching that, I feel discouraged about doctors.  As a medical student, I think Dr. Gupta would have been trained to think on his own and present solid arguments after all that schooling.  I guess not.  Gupta got soundly beaten by Moore; Gupta was exposed as a talking head who knows essentially nothing and shows that he really cannot think for himself.  If the MSM does have such a great influence on the populace, I hope, at the least, that they don’t think all doctors are like Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

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By Marshall, July 11, 2007 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment

We all agree the US healthcare system needs healing - that’s not even the issue.

The issue is Moore’s prescription.  He’s oblivious to the inherent contradiction of wanting to turn over the entire healthcare system to a government that he hates.  And he thinks this is the last administration he’ll hate?

Moore despises corporations and Republicans, and he loves socialism.
This basic premise is at the heart of most of his films.  It’s why he persists in stubbornly mischaracterizing socialized healthcare as “free” - as though dollars taken in taxes are somehow different than dollars taken in co-pays.

The US definitely has a coverage problem.  For those WITH coverage, our healthcare system stacks up pretty well; short wait times, wide access, advanced equipment, high consumer satisfaction (according to the WHO figures).  And in the specific areas where the US doesn’t compare as favorably (average lifespan, infant mortality to name two), lack of universal coverage is the primary reason; uninsured people live shorter lives due to lack of preventive care and inattention to existing conditions.

Moore cites all the symptoms plaguing US healthcare, but fails to get to the causes.  And his prescription for fixing it all is simplistic and predictable: socialize everything and your problems will disappear.  Forget that Canada has INCREASED the role of privatization in its healthcare system on both the insurance and delivery sides.  Or that most French have private policies over and above their taxpayer funded coverage.  Or that every healthcare system in the world relies on significant private delivery of services.

The profit motive isn’t the problem here.  Socialized systems have to turn a profit too; it’s called “funding the bureaucracy” - all the people that have to be hired to run the govt. system.  Difference is, socialized systems have low accountability and no motive to improve.  When costs rise due to inefficiency, you just raise taxes to make up the difference and since there’s no competition, everyone is forced to pay the piper.  It’s like a private system in which there’s only one company: the government.  And we all know what a great record the government has (yes, Medicare has serious problems, but you’ll never hear acknowledgement of that from Moore).

Healthcare is expensive, and every system applies limits somewhere.  In Canada, it’s access time and limited availability.  In the US, it’s denied coverage.  The way to improve the US system is to change the rules, not throw out the system.  But that’s a topic for another post.

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By cyrena, July 11, 2007 at 9:36 pm Link to this comment

Comment#86079 by Michael Aschenbach on 7/11 at 5:16 pm
Michael, Your entire post was very enlightening, but this was my favorite part:

....“Dear TV “journalists”: Please be aware that there are a growing number of viewers who have become media savvy and see how you play your little games to skew the meaning of actual News events and statements. If TV figures do not discover a new voice, a new respect for the viewer and for the truth, they may be surprised to see their audiences disappear. These are volatile times. Things can change rapidly as new media technologies and social trends emerge. Think about it.”....

*************************************
I sure hope they DO think about it, and take heed. This is EXTREMELY well timed advice.

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By cann4ing, July 11, 2007 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment

At best, Gupta made a careless, and altogether erroneous, attack on Sicko’s facts.  But I think it was deliberate.  By his nit picking, he diverted attention from the core issue.  Moore’s ultimate point, the one which Larry King was quick to evade, entailed more than the wasted funds that find their way into the pockets of insurance company CEOs.  It entailed the issue of how much of our national budget goes to the military industrial complex and war. 

There was all this talk about France being awash in taxes.  We’re not?  Here, the middle class is awash in taxes.  The rich avoid them.  More importantly, we are awash in debt largely because of military spending which is a form of parasitic growth since weapons systems have no use in the market place and can only be used for the taking of human life.  The question is what we pay taxes for?  Do we invest our taxes in health, education, roads, housing and the environment or do we devote them to conducting resource wars for the benefit of a select few?

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By MMS, July 11, 2007 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

Kudos Michael.  I’m glad you had the ever so brief opportunity to speak the truth to corporate media on
corporate media.  It is doubtful that Larry King will allow that again.

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By Michael Aschenbach, July 11, 2007 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“The media,” meaning mainly TV in this case, is on the side of the media. Their agenda is not so much right or left, though sometimes either, as it is to create a controversy that grabs your eyeballs then manipulates how you see things. That is the problem. They do this to increase their own power.

It is possible to say mainly true statements without actually saying the truth. That was part of Sanjay Gupta’s error. The added little spin was to call Michael Moore’s data “fudged” when the data Gupta used was at least ambiguous and possibly actually fudged. It was a quibble, but the effect was to discount the validity of Moore’s courageous challenge. The point was never the details of the data, but the big message Moore presents. All data is ambiguous and challengeable.

Gupta later back-tracked and said he agrees with Moore on all these good things, but, he’s a TV guy, so he uses subtle spins and slurs. That is what the discerning eye sees and it doesn’t look good. I’m sorry to say that I lost some respect for Sanjay over this one.

Dear TV “journalists”: Please be aware that there are a growing number of viewers who have become media savvy and see how you play your little games to skew the meaning of actual News events and statements. If TV figures do not discover a new voice, a new respect for the viewer and for the truth, they may be surprised to see their audiences disappear. These are volatile times. Things can change rapidly as new media technologies and social trends emerge. Think about it.

The small handful of official talking heads might like to manipulate Moore’s message, but it won’t work because the audience already understands the problem. We live it. There can only be a reasoned challenge to Michael Moore’s message when it has first been fairly addressed. Then we can discuss the fine points of how best to deliver universal health care.

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By NABNYC, July 11, 2007 at 6:12 pm Link to this comment

The movie Sicko raises the fundamental issue that we need to demand be fixed:  we need healthcare for everyone in this country, universal, regardless of income, age, or employment.  Self-employed people already pay outrageous amounts for grossly deficient coverage with high deductibles.  If you don’t have the money, you are simply allowed to die.  I have a friend who had heart problems very young, and even with insurance his family was forced into bankruptcy because of the medical expenses.  This is a disgrace. 
As far as CNN, Gupta’s comments were absurd, a red herring designed to distract from the key point, which is that we need universal coverage.  I’ll wait for an appointment, thanks very much, if I can get the care.  Only an extremely wealthy person, like Gupta, would focus on the question of personal convenience (you may have to wait for an appointment) and miss the big life and death picture.  Quite simply, in this country many people lose their teeth because they cannot afford going to the dentist; their eyes are harmed because they cannot afford glasses; and they are sick and die younger and unnecessarily because they do not have health insurance and cannot afford to go to the doctor.

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By Hemi*, July 11, 2007 at 5:10 pm Link to this comment

Both men have valid points. The movie will increase awareness but nothing will stop corporte administration of our health care, military, educational system, you name it, we kissed it goodbye long ago. The internet is on the verge of corporate regulation. Enjoy!

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By Cathy J, July 11, 2007 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

HURRAY FOR MIKE! Let’s take a lesson and FIGHT BACK when these bully’s lie and use stupid comparisons to push Bushco’s agenda.  Nice guys do finish last, so start kicking that sand in their face for a change!

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