In a recent interview with John Stossel, Michael Moore continues his tirade against free market solutions to the healthcare dilemma.
Moore was asked if the Cuban government shuttled the portly filmmaker and his crew around the island. Of course, he insisted that the healthcare his party received was the same received by each Cuban citizen.
“They didn’t send us there. We went to a number of clinics,” he said.
It’s an average hospital?
“Yes, they have a clinic in every neighborhood in Cuba. This isn’t just me saying this, you know. All the world health organizations have confirmed that if there’s one thing they do right in Cuba, it’s health care. There’s very little debate about that.”
Moore also insists that Cuba’s widely advertised birth rate is an indicator of the Communist nation’s healthcare successes, but this data is disputed:
Moore claims Cubans live longer than Americans. It’s true that a U.N. report claims that. But the United Nations didn’t gather any data. “The United Nations simply reports whatever the government in Cuba reports, so we have no objective way to know what the real statistics are,” Carro says.
Why would we believe the Cuban government’s health statistics?
Cuba claims it has low infant mortality, but doctors tell us that Cuban obstetricians abort a fetus when they think there might be a problem. Dr. Julio Alfonso told us he used to do 70-80 abortions a day. And here’s an even more devious way of distorting infant-mortality data: Some doctors tell us that if a baby dies within a few hours of birth, Cuban doctors don’t count him or her as ever having lived.
I was able to find an interesting article discussing in depth the reasons how data can be skewed to make it appear that Cuba’s birth rate is better than the United States’, here.
Because the United States also easily has the most intensive system of
emergency intervention to keep low birth weight and premature infants alive
in the world.
How does this skew the statistics? Because in the United States if an infant is born weighing only 400 grams and not breathing, a doctor will likely spend lot of time and money trying to revive that infant. If the infant does not survive Ã¢â‚¬â€ and the mortality rate for such infants is in excess of 50 percent Ã¢â‚¬â€ that sequence of events will be recorded as a live birth and then a death.
In many countries, however, (including many European countries) such severe medical intervention would not be attempted and, moreover, regardless of whether or not it was, this would be recorded as a fetal death rather than a live birth. That unfortunate infant would never show up in infant mortality statistics.
This is clearly what is happening in Cuba.
But back to Stossel’s interview-
Moore told me: “All the independent health organizations in the world, and even our own CIA, believe that the Cubans have a pretty good health system. And they do, in fact, live longer than we do.”
But the CIA does not claim that Cubans live longer than Americans. In fact, the CIA says Americans live longer.
When I pressed Moore, he backed away from the claims his movie makes about Cuba. “Let’s stick to Canada and Britain,” he said, “because I think these are legitimate arguments that are made against the film and against the so-called idea of socialized medicine. And I think you should challenge me on these things, and I’ll give you my answer.”
Legitimate arguments against socialized medicine? He admits it?!
Sniff, sniff….Michael! Is that doubt I smell?!
No, its not…