Saturday, July 14, 2007


(NOTE: I've bumped this post from Tuesday up to this spot so as to give more exposure to the comment attached to it, which arrived only Friday. -- The Rascal.)

Michael Moore gives Wolf Blitzer a little -- nay, a lot -- of what-for on CNN.

Check it out here.

After you watch that video, come on back to check this take on the malarkey peddled by CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta.


Dr.Walter Rohloff, MD Albuquerque said...

I am a physician and tried to leave a comment on Dr. Gupta’s CNN Blog regarding his exchange with Michael Moore – unfortunately it did not make it into the published comments:

Dear Dr. Gupta,

I have seen both Michael Moore's recent interview with Wolf Blitzer and later with Larry King and yourself and I feel that your review on CNN was quite unfair and it would serve you well to admit its shortcomings. You have nowhere made a convincing argument that Michael Moore indeed "fudged the facts" as you claim. If your presentation about mildly different health care cost estimates in the USA or CUBA that you and Moore have found should justify "fudged facts", it would only be one more of the trivial nit pickings that hardly matter in comparison to your own distortions (like calling universal health care as it exists elsewhere a "Utopia" and "not truly free") and omissions (Not to talk about the humane and financial benefits of Universal Health Care ) . Instead, your "fact check" parades a conservative hit man for the health for profit industry as an "expert - only associated with Vanderbilt University" and allows him to make unreferenced claims against the film that are hilariously misleading or plain false. I have grown up in Germany under the universal health care system there and worked and studied medicine in Great Britain for many years and can well confirm that Michael Moore's film presents no "utopia" and that indeed basic health care is unrestricted and rapidly available for everyone. Your "fact check" again repeats the false litany preached to the public by greedy insurers and uninformed doctors about the "long waiting times" in Canada, England, Germany etc. without mentioning that waiting time for emergency access is shorter than in the USA and longer mainly for non urgent (elective) procedures - and this is quite acceptable. In the USA on the other hand, 47 million uninsured Americans cannot get other than emergency medical care no matter how long they wait! The insured rest may also not get it because of a ruthless denial by some HMO cubicle clerk, no matter how long they wait! You even challenged Michael Moore to decide whether he would rather be seen in the USA or elsewhere for cardiac emergency care. As the National Institute of Health has recently concluded, an enormous number of cardiac interventions are done in the USA without proper need and benefit for the patients, possibly because of the wrong kind of incentives. I found the interview with Tony Benn in Michael Moores SICKO the most significant contribution: The British NHS Universal Health Care system was born during and despite the economic hardship of the postwar years because people understood that to take care of each other in such a vital matter as health care should be a human right in an industrialized country - and even Margaret Thatcher never tried to do away with the NHS. I can tell you from my personal experience in Germany and Britain that there are few if any citizens who would want to exchange their Universal Health Care system for some for profit or individualized health care system instead as it is glorified in the USA. America's Health system needs an aggressive overhaul, bold vision and infusion from good examples elsewhere.

I hope you will join the wave for universal health care for all Americans !


Dr. Walter Rohloff, Renal Medicine, Albuquerque

UCrawford said...

Dr. Rohloff,

And I can tell you from my personal experience of living in the U.K. from 2000-2006 that the NHS is a wretched system for providing health care and anyone in Britain who has the means usually goes through BUPA (private health insurance) just so they don't find themselves on a two-year wait list to get surgery when they need it. Or a six-month (or longer) wait list to see a cardiologist for a simple consult. Or so they don't have to wait until their previously treatable cancer goes terminal before they see an oncologist just to be told that the NHS won't treat them or give them the newest cancer-fighting drugs because they're going to die anyway. Or so they won't get their feeding tubes pulled against their will when they go into a coma because the NHS is attempting to control costs because everyone else is abusing and overusing the "free" medical system.

In the U.S., you may pay too much for health care and you may go into massive debt if you don't have insurance, but at least the care is generally available and it's not up to the government to decide whether you live or die. The average person doesn't get that choice with socialized medicine. And taking the profit motive out of the medical system will pretty much insure that all the great advances the U.S. medical industry gives the rest of the world in new drugs and technologies will slow to a crawl. The only reason socialized medicine is able to exist on such a wide scale now is because those nations usually piggy-back off our accomplishments...they can't produce advances like we can because there's no incentive for them to do so. That's why Sweden (the poster child for socialized medicine) has started going private with their medical system.

Your claims of unanimous support for the NHS by the British people have no basis in fact. "The Guardian", a left-wing newspaper that supports socialized medicine, regularly blasts the NHS for their incompetence. And here's a website chock full of articles about the failure of socialized medicine around the globe.

And here's CNN's response to Michael Moore, pointing out the factual misrepresentations that are his trademark.

UCrawford said...

And by the way, Rascal, a Google search reveals that this comment from "Dr. Rohloff" has been copied and pasted on a dozen or so different websites, which makes it look suspiciously like spam. Based on the generalizations involved, and the fact that it recycles a lot of anti-medical community propaganda but makes some glaring omissions about the private medical industry (which few doctors I've discussed this with tend to do), I question whether Dr. Rohloff even wrote it or if some idiot simply found Dr. Rohloff's name online, wrote a pro-socialism screed and attached the good doctor's name to it.

I've noticed that's a common tactic among people with poorly-thought out, unsubstantiated and unpopular opinions...throw out tons of spam, tag an "expert" name to it, and try to make everyone believe the opinion is universally held by the well-informed.

The Rascal said...

Mr. UC: I don't bother to guard against spam. I'll take what I can get in the way of comments. When I'm big and powerful, I'll be more discriminating.

UCrawford said...

I hear you Rascal. I'm not faulting you for posting it...I was just making note of the fact that it's a suspiciously spam-like comment with a very weak argument. And for all I know Rohloff really did write it. In which case I eagerly await his defense of his position :)