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  1. People are talking about the film “Sicko.” However, everyone should see the movie “The Hospital” with George C. Scott.
    The movie came out in the early 1970’s, but it can apply to our health care system today.

  2. Hi Stuart,
    I think you just proved my point. If you found a reason to find fault with the stat used, then the whole argument must be wrong, correct?
    To quote the source in the nice video you linked to (btw: i love the fact that you linked to a video: Written, Directed, Produced, Edited and Narrated By:
    Stuart Browning) According the US Census Bureau, there were 46mm uninsured in the US in 2005, or 15% of the population (sorry I rounded in my last post). This includes 8.3 million children, or 11.2% of all children. I would argue most folks would take this as a pretty reputable source, even though you might disagree.
    Now I see that you want to discredit this stat by parsing by income level. Well, to use your parsing, there are approximately 30mm uninsured who have incomes below $50k a year. Aw, $50k sounds like a lot, but this includes 15mm under $25k (do you argue these people are actually uninsured?) and 15mm from $25k-$50k. Without the distribution given, it is hard to say how many uninsured “should” have insurance, by your logic. So, Stuart, what is the correct income level at which someone does not qualify as uninsured by the US Census Bureau definition? What is your cutoff for the people who don’t count? $30k? $34k? Imagine the fun we could have challenging that statistic. Give me the number and I will call the Census Bureau to ask for the distibution. Then we can get the “Real” number of uninsured and debate something important.
    Now, do you see that this parsing of stats is just a digression? I think my point was this: is it the statistic that really matters? Does it really matter if the correct uninsured number is 50mm (as reported multiple times by the pretty decent source of the US Census Bureau) or 30mm? Is 50mm uninsured a burden to the system, but can 30mm be easily handled? Does it matter if the number of uninsured children is 8 million or 5 million? Is quoting a US Census Bureau statistic really “a pack of lies” as you claim? That seems a little dramatic, don’t you think? Lot of liars out there if the criteria is citing a US Census Bureau statistic. I, myself, must surely be going to hell for my statistical transgressions.
    Do you really think that when a pharma company pulls a prevalence number for a disease they are targeting that they do not pull the highest number from the most reputable source possible? Do you really think HMOs, Hospitals and other parties dont do equivalent ‘analyses’?
    I find this kind of argument often: when someone disagrees with your premise, they try to attack a statistic or other claim that is not even crucial to the argument. “See there, they made a mistake. The whole argument is wrong”. What I love in this case, is that you are throwing out an argument because they simply quoted a US Census Bureau statistic.

    If Cuba, Canada and France are such grand islands of medical competency — may we assume that the Saudi 747s that land near USA medical centers have just gotten lost?
    ” .. James Wilson III, a friend of Andrews’s and owner of the Wynfrey Hotel, where many of the clinic’s patients stay, finds visits by members of the Saudi Arabian royal family particularly memorable. “They bring a 747 and an entourage, and they take two or three floors of the hotel,” Wilson says. “Sometimes we can’t get the dang hotel cleaned, because the maids will go up to the floors where the Saudis are staying to do personal errands. They get $100 tips.”
    Michael Moore is Democrat/Socialist who will say anything to get Democrats elected. Period.
    If you think otherwise — you are on drugs.
    Sane, sober leaders in health care know that the problem is NOT money — it is uneven quality and service distribution. And everyone — everyone — is trying to fix the situation.
    But if cheering for Socialism is your thing — rave on. Others have real work to do.

  4. Chris,
    Before labeling opponents “naive”, you might want to first check some of your own premises. I suggest you start with your “50m uninsured” by becoming informed about just who the uninsured are:
    Also – you might not care about the infant mortailty rate in Cuba – however, dishonest filmakers Michael Moore and dishonest pundits like Ezra Klein, Jonathan Cohn, and Paul Krugman use this bullshit to silence opposition to their single-payer propaganda.
    If government-run health care is such a good idea, then why does it have to be “sold” with a pack of lies?

  5. Hi Stuart,
    I believe it is quite easy to try to find a fact (or two, or ten) that you do not agree with, and use that as a justification for throwing out an entire argument. With this type of debating, I feel like we are on CNN or Fox News. Instead of debating whether Cuba is 39th or 50th on the list, or if the US is 37th or 20th, would it not be more productive to debate the big picture? In a country as rich and prosperous as the US, has the Healthcare system failed to some major degree? Perhaps we can even argue whether, in a country such as this, healthcare should be a right or a priviledge? Or debate the actual cost to the healthcare system of having 50mm uninsured? Or finally, what to do about the problem of US healthcare?
    For every stat you come up with, I will find another that proves you ‘wrong’. But is this really how we should debate an issue of such magnitude? To be honest, I do not care what the infant mortality rate of Cuba is. And although you completely dismissed Rick’s very valid point, I would argue that if you believe for-profit healthcare companies do not ‘spin’ data in the most favorable light, I would say you might be the naive one in this conversation.

  6. Rick –
    If you’re confused by the contrast between a totalitarian regime and a free country which preserves the right to free speech and which has a free press – then I’m not sure there’s anything I can do to help you.
    However, at least you won’t feel out of place here on Mr. Holt’s little blog.

  7. “. . . Michael Moore, the United Nations, the New York Time’s Paul Krugman, etc. all seem to take without a grain of salt the infant mortality numbers coming out of Cuba’s health ministry.”
    Right, because our administration and private healthcare enterprises have robust oversight and no incentives to fudge their numbers. Uh-huh.
    Revealing, indeed, Stuart.

  8. Peter –
    Only CNN has made the US/Cuba WHO ranking comparison. You’re merely exaggerating for effect here.
    By the way, I find it interesting that Michael Moore, the United Nations, the New York Time’s Paul Krugman, etc. all seem to take without a grain of salt the infant mortality numbers coming out of Cuba’s health ministry. It seems that the desire for a single-payer health care system by many here is so great that you’ll abide any lie and accept without scepticism the information put out by a totalitarian regime with a government-controlled press.
    I find it quite revealing.

  9. “Moore at least has a vision of getting everyone in that pool and making sure that neither the least of us, nor those who got hurt in their finest hour, get left out. Which is a hell of a lot more than can be said for most of those attacking him and defending the status quo.”
    Good ending Matthew.
    I note that those condeming Moore seem to point proudly to the fact that we are 37th in the world while Cuba is – wait for it, 39th. And that’s with a trade embargo. Moore IS trying to wake up this country and with the money and influence peddled by for profit healthcare he is to be excused for his “emotional punch” approach.

  10. Yes, Mr. Holt – maybe you could have helped CNN debunk the United Nation’s (and Moore’s) claim that the U.S. health care system is inferior to that of Morocco(!).
    Oh yes, that’s right – I forgot. You spread this propaganda yourself!