Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that Obamacare is a constitutional tax of the highest order — one imposed on you at birth — Michael Moore is back in the news. One would think the headline would be that liberals are now in the weird position of cheering the defacto Obamacare Birth Tax, all the taxes in between, and the Death Tax … but instead, the Sicko director was given time to discuss the need to go ever further:

“It’s a huge day,” Moore said. “It’s a great victory. Now, as you know, you and I were very critical of the bill that got passed because we thought, you know, it was fairly watered down and not as far as it should go. And it’s going to need to go further in the years to come, obviously. And we all need to keep working toward a true universal health-care system that doesn’t leave 26 million people uninsured, as the current law does now, and as you so wonderfully and eloquently pointed out on your show last night.”

It was only a short time ago, however, that Moore was acknowledging the economic realities of socialized health care:

Moore says the only “things you maybe have to wait for” are a knee replacement surgery or cataracts.

“Things that are not life-threatening,” Moore said on HBO’s “Real Time” with host Bill Maher. “The reason why you have to wait sometimes in those countries is they let everybody in the line. We make 50 million people out of the line so the line is shorter, so sometimes you have to wait as long. If you are a patriotic American, you want every American to be covered the same as you.

Oh what short memories we have, right Michael? That might be a sign of a more serious ailment. You might want to get that checked out.

I do not wish to revisit the laughable claim that only procedures like knee surgery require long waits time when they become “free.” What I will do is once again proudly state that I do not want my fellow Americans to have my health care coverage — because I want them to have the health care coverage that they want. I want them to have the health care that is suited to their lifestyle, their wants and their needs.

I would also like to revisit basic math.

Congressional Budget Office: Updated Budget Projections for Fiscal Years 2012 – 2022 (i.e., The Michael Moore Dream Destroyer Projections for Fiscal Years 2012 – 2022).

Notice anything weird about all of Michael Moore’s interviews (besides the fact that he tries to hide his wealth behind schlubby clothes)? There’s a willful denial of reality; he acts as if we’re not already 16 trillion dollars in debt. He acts as if we’re not broke. He acts as if he has never — even out of sheer morbid curiosity — looked at numbers put out by the Congressional Budget Office. Moore calls Obamacare a “huge locomotive,” and he’s right … if the metaphor involves Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Crazy Train.’

The U.S. is on a debt train that is heading full-steam ahead towards economic disaster. The honest broker knows that the nation must pull hard on the brakes today or go over a spectacular cliff tomorrow. At some point, the interest on our debt alone will reach a tipping point, and when it does there will be no stopping the pain that will follow. And who will feel it the most? Not Michael Moore. He’ll be cushioned by his riches. A little (or a lot) of inflation to a multimillionaire like him means nothing.

In Michael Moore’s utopia, where endless accounting tricks never run out, retirees who scrimped and saved for decades won’t see their wealth hacked in half due to inflation. Treatment is never rationed. The quality of their care is never diminished while wait times explode. It’s a seductive fantasy to a lot of people, but it’s still a fantasy.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to read up on Michael Moore’s Cuban paradise, where they pay for all that “free” health care with … child prostitution.

Advertisements

About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

8 comments

  1. Do you think then that it is absolutely impossible for fully accessible public health to exist? Health, security, and education should be provided by the government. Private alternatives will always exist for those who can afford it. Is this not feasible?

    1. Zig, your comment is so open-ended it’s hard to even know where to begin. You talk about “government” without even distinguishing whether or not a service is better provided (or even appropriate) at local, state and federal levels. In addition, there are mechanisms in place for those who can not afford health care; one is called Medicaid. The solution to the imperfections in our health care system was not to allow the federal government to take over 1/6 of the U.S. economy.

  2. You’re right – the subject is very broad. Here in Brazil preventive and non-complex healthcare is supposed to be managed at a municipal level. Complex treatments are managed at a state and federal levels. General funding is provided at a federal level through budgets. This is true even for local taxes, which is weird because all taxes are centrally collected then redistributed to states, cities, etc. While everybody is supposed to have access to healthcare, it doesn’t happen yet because the structuring takes decades to implement, but I do believe that in the future the implementation will occur adequately nationwide, even with our severe limitations typical of a third world country (but please don’t compare us to Cuba). I say this because in the more developed areas of Brazil healthcare is widely available. I know about Medicaid, but from what I understand a lot of people are not covered by it and can’t have access to necessary treatments. I’m saying this because I do consider myself conservative and I believe that government should be kept as small as possible. Brazil in that sense is a disaster. However, I do think that health, security and education should be universally provided, while there may be private alternatives. Administrative issues apart, I think there should be a consensus leading away from a private managed health system. I believe this because private medicine is not cost effective, uses very high profit margins and given time may only be available to the very wealthy or, which is worse, may lead to serial bankruptcies. I think that in normal fields of business that is ok because systems will eventually be more efficient. But when dealing with health and lives this should not occur.

    1. Zig, why do you acknowledge that the free market (an actual free market) is more efficient than central planning, but act as though magically it isn’t when applied to health care? Laser Eye surgery in the United States is a perfect example of how the free market encourages innovation AND keeps cost down.

      There is no reason why health insurance can’t be like, say, my car insurance. I’m VERY happy with my car insurance provider and have been with them for years. I buy the package that fits my lifestyle and my needs and my desires, and they provide a quality product at a cost efficient price. It’s also not complicated to understand the policy. Instead, the most important aspect of my life — my health — is largely dictated by a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington that don’t know me, don’t care about me, and even if they did they have 1,000 other things on their mind.

      You also conflate “access to treatment” with “quality care.” Central planning does not encourage innovation. There’s a reason why when Saudi Princes need the most complicated procedures and the newest life-saving medicines they fly here instead of their local hospital. No system is perfect, but I’d much rather live under one orientated toward free market principles than the statist model.

      There should be a safety net for the needy, but other than that I will always go with the free market over the alternative.

  3. That’s why I think a debate is so important. So I do believe that an actual free market is more efficient. However, I do not think it applies to health care. Essentially, because I do not believe that profit should be the MAIN drive behind the health market (although I am not saying that profit is BAD – that would be naive and it would block innovation).

    Some examples:

    Laser Eye surgery is a great example – it is one of the areas in which innovation is highest. However, surgery is not crucial for seeing. Wearing glasses is. So the government should be responsible for massive campaigns that reach the population at an early age in order for people to wear inexpensive glasses and be able to see. People that can afford it should by all means operate. BTW, laser eye surgery here is cheaper than in the US – and we do use the same equipment. Actually, we even have earlier access to innovation because some FDA restrictions are ridiculous. I still think that the profit margins in pharmaceuticals and medical materials are obscene.

    Cataract surgery is driven by innovation. We are looking now at new laser equipment that increases the cost of surgery 10 fold; however, it does not improve results. You can still perform great surgery at low cost with high technology. I do not agree with the Indian system where they perform cataract surgery for 20 dollars on millions of people. This surgery works but you do not get the same results as with modern American (I say this because modern cataract surgery came from the US) surgery. But the companies are pushing for early adoption of technologies that haven’t been proven yet. This happens in the American and Brazilian market.

    We have the example here of AIDs medication. The Brazilian government a few years ago broke the patent of AIDS medication. This goes against the free market and is a crime. But this aggressive standpoint allowed for better negotiation and this lowered the price across the board for this category of medication. Now, in a profit driven free market, it is better for the company to produce anti AIDs medication so the insurance companies or the patient will pay for it. In a central planning market it is much cheaper to give out condoms and discardable syringes and avoid AIDs altogether. This can be applied for many areas in preventive medicine. Free market medicine focuses on the treatment and not on prevention.

    BTW, over the counter (OTC) medication is cheaper in the US then in Brazil, but prescription medicine I have found to be way more expensive in the US, sometimes 60% more expensive – I don’t see any reason for that.

    Orthopedic prosthesis are another issue. Profit margins can get up to 200%. Same thing with important materials like coronary stents. How does a free market control this if there is a monopoly on certain products?

    Other complex procedures such as heart transplants or liver transplants are really expensive but are completely funded by the government here in Brazil. Actually, due to social issues involving organ donations I don’t think these procedures are even covered by health insurance. Should someone be receiving an organ before because they have more money?

    Now, I can afford health insurance, and so can you. I don’t like to go to a public hospital because I want a more personal treatment and I want a choice. I can afford it and I can choose it. But my problem is with the people that can’t choose and are not covered. Healthcare here is considered a Duty of the state and a Right of the people, I think this is a good path.

    The US has the best public health universities in the World. I think public health should be made widely available. Something happened along the way that didn’t allow for this to be adopted in the US. I don’t think that Canada is the right way because you don’t have a choice, I think the way is somewhere down the middle. I say this because, in some ways, Brazil is similar to the US. Here the wealthy people have access to the best medicine – unlike the Arabs (a lot of them come here), but I would like for healthcare to be freely available. I don’t know if Obamacare is the right path, but I think the debate should be constant. There should be a free market medicine for those who can afford it but universal public health oriented medicine for anybody who cannot or will not spend money for it. I think both can coexist.

    1. I can see that you’ve thought deeply about this subject, but your perspective on profits, to me, is completely warped. Why are profits bad? Why should a U.S. company spend hundreds of millions of dollars on research and development (sometimes billions) in order to get a drug to the market, and then not hold intellectual property rights on that drug? The rest of the world often waits until we INVENT a drug, and then once it’s invented they make generics. So they get the pleasure of avoiding the COST of inventing the drug, but all the benefits of selling a generic version of the drug. And that’s not even counting the R&D costs for U.S. drugs that never make it to the market.

      You can talk about “free” health care all day, but the fact remains that COSTS still exist. Whether that cost is paid in the form of higher taxes, lesser services or decreased innovation elsewhere is something that the recipients of “free” goods usually don’t think about.

      Should substitute teachers work for free since they “profit” off the misfortune of sick teachers? Should doctors work for free? Your logic leads down dangerous paths. It most definitely is a departure from American conservatism.

  4. It’s a tough debate because I fully agree on the R&D issues and what you just said. I also agree that government bureaucrats are not the best managers to implement widespread healthcare. The thing is I believe in innovation and medical progress but I also do believe that anybody should have access to health treatment.

    Costs are an important issue, and they shouldn’t come as lesser services or higher taxes. I believe that higher taxes mean inefficient government. In a private company if your costs are to high you optimize results. I think your point is valid.

    I tend to compare these health issues with education. What is your stand on public education?

    I have been reading a bit about charter schools, and they may show a way. From what I understood, funding in charter schools comes from the government but also from other sources. Administration is done independently and success is based on results. Maybe something along these lines could work in healthcare without hindering innovation and (maybe) without raising taxes.

    1. Actually, a voucher program of sorts for health insurance was put forth … but that’s a big no-no to Democrats. The reason being is because, as always, it’s about control with them.

      I have some issues with vouchers for charter schools … but yes, it’s been a big improvement for children in substandard schools. It gives parents choice. Of course, liberals (beholden to unions) have resisted the efforts. Again, it’s about control. They hate when individuals have choice.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s