Michael Moore

Michael Moore once called Obamacare a “huge locomotive.” Now he has taken to the New York Times to admit that it’s a huge train wreck.

“TODAY marks the beginning of health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act’s new insurance exchanges, for which two million Americans have signed up. Now that the individual mandate is officially here, let me begin with an admission: Obamacare is awful….

I believe Obamacare’s rocky start — clueless planning, a lousy website, insurance companies raising rates, and the president’s telling people they could keep their coverage when, in fact, not all could — is a result of one fatal flaw: The Affordable Care Act is a pro-insurance-industry plan implemented by a president who knew in his heart that a single-payer, Medicare-for-all model was the true way to go. When right-wing critics “expose” the fact that President Obama endorsed a single-payer system before 2004, they’re actually telling the truth. …

For many people, the “affordable” part of the Affordable Care Act risks being a cruel joke. The cheapest plan available to a 60-year-old couple making $65,000 a year in Hartford, Conn., will cost $11,800 in annual premiums. And their deductible will be $12,600. If both become seriously ill, they might have to pay almost $25,000 in a single year. (Pre-Obamacare, they could have bought insurance that was cheaper but much worse, potentially with unlimited out-of-pocket costs.)” — Michael Moore

Note to Michael Moore: Millions of couples are finding out that, prior to Obamacare, they could have purchased cheaper and superior insurance with not “potentially” lower out-of-pocket costs — but actual out-of-pocket savings.

Mr. Moore looks at the unintended consequences of the Affordable Care Act (e.g., rising insurance rates), including millions of upset Americans, and he blames “health insurance chief executives like Stephen Hemsley of UnitedHealth Group, who made nearly $102 million in 2009” — when he knows that paying every top executive in the insurance industry zero dollars would not have a tangible effect on the cost of health care in the United States.

Mr. Moore faults Obamacare sticker shock to “companies like Novartis, which charges leukemia patients $90,000 annually for the drug Gleevec,” — as if life-saving drugs come from magical medical fairies before pharmaceutical companies arbitrarily assign high prices on sick people. Never mind the fact that billions of dollars are spent on research and development on drugs that never even make it to the market, and that companies need to recoup those costs in addition to those that do (often after waiting years for FDA approval).

Is the filmmaker completely ignorant of basic economics, or is he a political hack? For the answer, we must look to Michael Moore, circa 2011:

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.

As it turns out, Mr. Moore is simply a political hack. He is astutely aware of basic economics, even if he bizarrely tries to make the claim that making health care “free” for everyone only causes long lines for things like “knee replacement surgery or cataracts.” That would be like saying that price controls in Venezuela only have caused shortages of tomato paste and grape jelly instead of basic necessities like bread, eggs, milk and toilet paper. 

As a patriotic American, I do not want my fellow Americans to have my coverage because I want them to have the coverage that is right for their lives and their specific needs.  Look at the two industries the federal government is most immersed in – education and health care — and then ask yourself which two industries have the most out of control costs associated with them over the past few decades. Ask yourself if there could be a correlation between government control and insane cost curves.

Most astonishingly is Michael Moore’s biggest beef with Obamacare: it wasn’t a complete takeover of the health care industry.

America is currently $17 trillion in debt and his master plan is for the federal government to give “free” health care to all. Nation states with a population smaller than Texas can’t even manage universal health care systems, and yet he wants all 400 million Americans to have their health care needs placed in the hands of 535 members of Congress. That is a loser of an idea, which is why president Obama had to keep his true desire in his heart.

Ronald Reagan said it well over 50 years ago:

“Back in 1927 an American Socialist, Norman Thomas, a six-time candidate for president on the Socialist Party ticket, said the American people would never vote for socialism, but under the name of Liberalism the American people would adopt every fragment of the socialist program.” — Ronald Reagan

Whose vision for America do I trust: Michael Moore’s or Ronald Reagan’s? Put me down with the guy Americans re-elected in a 49-state landslide victory.

Related: Michael Moore Talks Obamacare, Ignores Jowl Replacement Surgery

Related: Michael Moore: Let’s stand in front of the Obamacare ‘locomotive’ and see what happens

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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.

7 comments

  1. Moore is obviously suffering from a severe case of cranial-recto inversion and diarrhea of the mouth.

    His Castro-trained medicine man says they may be able to “pull him through”.

  2. The Obamacare debacle doesn’t affect me but I have been keeping up to date with its problems as healthcare interests me.

    We have the NHS in this country and even though it is much maligned on the whole they do a good job. My mother was treated for lung cancer off and on over a period of about 3 years and the cost of this treatment would have probably bankrupted my family. The NHS being there meant we could get the relevant treatment as soon as possible. My mum wasn’t put on a waiting list for the lung surgery and once chemotherapy and radiotherapy were required these were done quickly.

    I have never liked Michael Moore. He makes films which are edited to prove the point he wants to make. A decent documentary maker asks a question and then documents the answer as it happens. Michael Moore decides the answer and then films what is needed to prove it.

    Given the problems Obamacare has had surely they should have postponed the start date? The liberal media would no doubt praise the courage of Obama in postponing his pride and joy for the common good.

    1. Michael Moore is a propagandist in every sense of the word. He bends reality so he can push an agenda. He’s a hypocrite, too. He’ll blast large corporations like Halliburton and GM but he owns stock in both companies.

    2. When I was in college I had a prof who gave extra credit for seeing ‘Bowling for Columbine.’ That was one of the first classes I had someone come up to me after class to tell me that they appreciated how I pushed the prof to defend specious claims, etc. I don’t remember who the kid was, but if I met him today I’d say that this blog exists in small part because of his feedback.

    3. Interesting. Usually when I criticized a teacher (usually in high school), there would be a few dummies who would attack me for daring to question the teacher’s authority. They were in the minority, though.

    4. Andrew, thanks for comment. I’m glad your mom was able to receive the treatment she needed. You make an important point, in that each system has a number of benefits and trade-offs. No system is perfect, but the worst political hacks will do their best to distort reality to their liking.

      I believe that there are plenty of ways of lowering health care costs that don’t involve complete government takeover of an industry. The U.S. has led the world in the creation of new life-saving drugs and medical technology for quite some time, and it is my firm belief that any system that grants the federal government total control over the health care industry stifles innovation. That is a trade-off I am not willing to make.

      It is often hard to defend a more market-oriented approach to health care because even if “Wonder Drug X” was never invented, people would still be treated for their heart condition or diabetes or lung diseases or whatnot. The other issue is that once a drug is invented, countries are able to make generic versions of it say to the company that created it: “Okay, we’ll pay you for the cost of manufacturing the drug, but you can eat your own cost on the research and development.” Guys like Michael Moore then blame the company for profiting off a drug when they were the ones that took a huge financial risk in trying to get it to the market in the first place.

      I used to work as a substitute teacher while I was saving money for graduate school. Using Moore-ian logic, I’m a bad person because I was “profiting” off the backs of other sick teachers. In Moore’s world, perhaps substitute teachers should work for free…

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