Michael Moore takes Ground Zero responders to Cuba

According to the New York Post, anyway:

If true, is this good practice? Some people are up in arms about it. But the people involved went willingly, didn’t they?

In fairness, Moore has had to make this film under difficult conditions . . .

Doesn’t that violate the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba?

From the Post article:

“Good” in what way? If it helps the guys who are actually sick, then great. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a stunt and doesn’t prove one way or another which system is better. I can’t imagine that you don’t know that.

Why not take them to the UK if the intent is to show that socialized medicine is superior to the US system? There are plenty of other countries that have publicly funded health care. Of course this isn’t “free”, since everyone has to pay taxes to fund the system.

Why so many leftists like Moore have a soft spot for Castro’s totalitarian dictatorship is an exercize left for the reader.

How can anyone categorically state that something “doesn’t prove one way or another which system is better” until one sees the methodology and effect?

So what? A documentary is not a scientific study and does not pretend to be.

Because any country can stage a one-off event like this to make itself look good. Even if they have some miracle cure for a particular ailment that has eluded American doctors for decades, that still doesn’t say whether the system the have, as a whole, is better or worse than they :frowning: system we have. IWO, it’s an anecdote, and anecdotes do not constitute proof.

I get what you mean, and I agree that this stunt doesn’t provide proof about the state of the system.

One wild-assed-guess I would make — based on his prior polemics (I hesitate to use the word documentary) — is that he uses an outlandish stunt as a means to attract attention and provides background information about the issue at hand. The background information he provides (sometimes misleadingly, sometimes not) can be verified or refuted by what is on the public record.

So the stunt won’t provide proof, but may used as a compelling adjunct to any claims he makes about the state of Cuban health care (which I freely admit I know little about).

But again, that’s just my wild-assed-guess.

About 10 years ago, Paul Harvey (Right winger radio commentator) showed the same “soft spot” when he remarked about cases of Cubans-Americans going back to Cuba for affordable and available health care.

I do think the idea is not to show a soft spot, but remark on the fact that it is shameful that many other democracies, and dictatorships even, can take care of their people and we still insist in having irrational health care.

So… Would you trade Cuba’s health care system for your own?

The western left used to be suckered in all the time by the Soviet Union’s ‘Potempkin Villages’. The Soviets used to arrange guided tours of the glorious worker’s paradise. Young campus radicals would sign up for the trip (often funded by the Soviets), and travel to regions where they were guided through quaint little villages with good schools, good health care, and happy families. But they were never allowed to travel on their own, because if you went a few miles in any direction you’d happen across slums, crumbly cement tenement buildings with 10 people living in 1000 sq ft apartments, etc.

China, East Germany, North Korea, Vietnam, and other communist states have done the same thing.

Are you spectacularly missing the point on purpose? Read again, I said also “many other democracies”. The point is that it is a shame why it is that a dictatorship can do it and we can’t, how to get to a better system is a step that a nation has to take on its own, the Cuban plan can be ignored. There are others to consider.

But you’re begging the question. The point about the Potemkin villages is that Moore’s stunt in no way indicates that Cuba’s health care is superior.

Can you imagine if the American government wanted to take a foreign delegation to show how good the health care system is? Do you think they’d take them to a poor VA hospital in the boondocks? Or would they take the delegation to a top-flight hospital with the best surgeons in a rich district with lots of wealthy people?

Would you conclude from that trip that America’s health care system is stupendously good?

By the way, this whole ‘Potempkin Health Care’ thing is not hypothetical. Cuba routinely practices ‘Tourist Apartheid’, in which foreigners with hard cash are given access to health care facilities that are not available to the general population. From this cite:

Cuba has had several big advantages in terms of health care - first, being a totalitarian dictatorship it can dictate wages for doctors. The result is that doctors are very poorly paid, but Cuba has one of the highest doctor-to-patient ratios in the world. But in terms of facilities, access to medicine, research, after-surgery care, and other health metrics, Cuba sucks. Apologists for Cuba often point to the low infant mortality rate as a sign of good health care, while ignoring that Cuba maintains such a low rate in part by aborting 32 babies per 100 pregnancies - thereby avoiding difficult births in the first place.

Needless to say, these practices would not work if you tried to transplant Cuban health care into a democracy. Try to pay doctors $30/mo, and you won’t have any doctors. Tell 1/3 of women that their babies must be aborted because you aren’t going to spend the money on an expensive pregnancy and risky birth, and you’d have riots on your hands.

Cuba is also currently exporting its doctors and medical services to Venezuela, because Venezuela has money and has a sympathetic government. So the Cuban people are being shafted even more.

There are reports that patients in the ‘non-tourist’ hospitals have to buy their own sutures on the black market and bring them to the hospital with them. And items like sutures and medicines are not subject to U.S. trade embargo, so you can’t blame it for the lack of basic supplies. What can you blame it on? Gross mismanagement of centralized medical allocation and the diversion of critical resources to ‘Potempkin Hospitals’ where people like Michael Moore can go to feel good about themselves and reinforce their beliefs in the rightness of socialism.

I’m confused. If you are talking about “other democracies”, what is the “it” that Cuba “can do… that we can’t”. If you mean they can have some form of universal healthcare, so what? Unless their system is actually better than ours (which I have a hard time believing), then they haven’t done anything worth copying. Are you saying that Cuba’s healthcare system is better, as a whole, than ours?

I’m not making that point, until we see the movie, neither is Moore.

Once again you are ignoring that I mentioned “most other democracies”, I think the idea here is that it is shame that it “seems” that Cuba is more willing to care for others, pure propaganda, but it does remain a shame that they can offer that to us. We can indeed be aware that the health care the 9/11 team will be different to what regular Cubans get, but the point is that they had more access to care in Cuba that in the USA. I would also like to point out that many of the Cuban-Americans that go to Cuba for care still hate Castro.

I agree that infant mortality, by itself, is not the best way to measure the goodness of a healthcare system. But do you have a cite about the abortion rate and under what circumstances, if any, the Cuban government actually forces women to abort their fetuses?I know that has been the policy in China, but I haven’t heard that about Cuba. (I’m not saying I know you’re wrong-- I honestly don’t know either way.)

BTW, let’s look at what is actually being done (according to the article in the OP). If we do, we’ll see that this isn’t about universal healthcare at all:

So, if this is accurate, then Cuba has developed some drugs or some new techniques that it uses and that we are in the process of getting approved by the FDA. What does Moore want us to do-- bypass the FDA approval process?

Maybe I’m being confusing, but no, I’m not saying Cuba is superior and I think Moore is not asking for us to copy the Cuban health care system.

I think that Moore is using Cuba’s health care to make the point that Americans should be ashamed that 9/11 heroes are given proper care in Cuba out of all places, I do think Moore is being clever in going for what could be one of the lowest standards of universal health care. (I still have doubts regarding this)

The point remains that Cuba was willing to help when American health care dropped the ball.

IMHO it is irrelevant for this point for Cuba’s health care system to be terrible. If it is, I have to say the truth lies in the middle, it is not a hellhole, but I would not would like to live under that system.

Besides coming from the New York Post, I see that news bit is ignoring the context of the government ignoring and not telling 9/11 workers about the actual air quality on the days following 9/11. It sure it seems that something was bypassed.