“I'm the thinnest f@#king guy in town!"
--Michael Moore (Rolling Stone 9/17/04)
In his new film Sicko, Michael Moore makes it clear that he is a big fan of government-run health care. He may in fact be one of the biggest fans of socialized medicine in America, given his well-documented penchant for donuts and double Quarter-Pounders with cheese.
Moore proposes that the federal government nationalize the provision of health insurance so that everyone is covered. “The government has been quite good and efficient at creating a number of systems,” he tells Time. “Ask anyone on Social Security if their check comes on time every month. Like clockwork. And it comes through the so-called dilapidated U.S. mail.” In his movie, Moore celebrates the socialized health care systems in Cuba, Canada and France as better role models for America. In Canada, says Moore, the main flaw in their program “is that it’s underfunded.”
Of course, the reality is that Canada’s health care professionals are fleeing to America to work, and Canadian patients regularly come here for life-saving care. In fact, the Canadian system Michael Moore is so fond of is one of only three governments that make it illegal to buy private health insurance. The others are Cuba and Kim Jong Il’s North Korea. And here at home, the bankrupt Social Security system and massively inefficient U.S. postal service are not models for anything but government failure.
In a socialized system, every taxpayer pays in to the government pot. But not everyone gets the health care they need, because the demand for free health care will be virtually infinite. But the dollars available to be spent will be limited. Hillary Clinton, when she last tried to impose government-run health care on the American people, euphemistically referred to this as a “global budget” for health care expenditures.
Michael Moore calls it “underfunded.” Call it what you like, but what this really means is that some people get the health care they need and others wait in a line for service. It’s called rationing, and it is really Sicko. As the great Irish philosopher P.J. O’Rourke once observed: “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free."
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