creators.com opinion web
Liberal Opinion Conservative Opinion
John Stossel
John Stossel
22 Oct 2014
Federal Persecutors

A group of Washington overlords — federal prosecutors — sometimes break rules and wreck people's lives. … Read More.

15 Oct 2014
Crumbling Constitution

Does the Constitution still matter? When it was written, Ben Franklin said the Founders gave us a republic, "… Read More.

8 Oct 2014
Poverty

Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson declared "War on Poverty." It sounded great to me. I was taught at Princeton,… Read More.

Cuba Has Better Health Care than the United States?

Comment

Cuba has great socialized medicine — much better than the half-socialized system the United States has, according to Michael Moore and his documentary "Sicko."

"They believe in preventative medicine," Moore says in his movie. "And it seems like there's a doctor on every block."

To prove his point, Moore took some sick 9/11 rescue workers to Cuba. The group, with a camera crew tagging along, was treated at a showcase Havana hospital.

"I asked them to give us the same exact care they give their fellow Cuban citizens. No more, no less. And that's what they did," Moore insists in the movie.

I asked him if he really believes that.

"Oh, I know that's what they did," he told me. "One of the 9/11 rescue workers sneaks out of her hospital room, goes downstairs and pretends to be sick. She said the same exact process took place."

I suggested that was because Cuban authorities send tourists and dignitaries to special clinics.

"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."

Oh, there's plenty of debate.

Cuban-born Dr. Jose Carro, who interviews Cuban doctors who have moved to the United States, says Moore's movie lies. Dr. Darsi Ferrer, a human-rights advocate in Cuba, told us that Americans should not believe the claims being made. He describes the Cuban people as "crazy with desperation" because of poor-quality care.

George Utset, who writes The Real Cuba Web site [www.therealcuba.com/], says Moore and his group were ushered to the upper floors of the hospital, to rooms reserved for the privileged. "They don't go to the hospital for regular Cubans. They go to hospital for the elite. And it's a very different condition," Utset says.

For ordinary Cubans, health care is different.

A YouTube.com video [http://tinyurl.com/3c4pzg], posted by a woman from Venezuela, purports to show the two forms of health care, one for the privileged who pay in dollars and a far inferior one for regular Cubans.

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.

Exactly. Communist countries are famous for hiding the truth. Twenty years ago, when I reported from the Soviet Union, officials insisted there were no poor people in Russia, but they refused to let me look for myself.

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.

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."

Next week in this column, and this Friday on "20/20," I'll take him up on that challenge.

John Stossel is co-anchor of ABC News' "20/20" and the author of "Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel — Why Everything You Know is Wrong," which is now out in paperback. To find out more about John Stossel and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2007 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS, INC.

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.



Comments

1 Comments | Post Comment
my name shaquesha. i a baby momma, i got me 9 childs. my sugar daddy left me cuz he say i too stupid to have any more childs with, maybe i move to cuba, ill find me nother sugar daddy to take take care of me and my childs. see you soon cubians! deuces!
Comment: #1
Posted by: Shaquesha
Wed May 28, 2014 6:20 AM
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right:  
Creators.com comments policy
More
John Stossel
Oct. `14
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31 1
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Marc Dion
Marc DionUpdated 27 Oct 2014
Mark Shields
Mark ShieldsUpdated 25 Oct 2014
Joe Conason
Joe ConasonUpdated 24 Oct 2014

2 Jan 2013 No Regulation? No Problem

20 Jul 2011 A Businessman for President?

4 Jul 2012 The Education Blob