Michael Moore Is a Sicko

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I want to
tell the story of a young man who was attending a Southern University,
a few years ago. During his freshman year he was sick with appendicitis,
which he misdiagnosed as regular stomach ache for a day. As the
agony grew unbearable, he was taken to the regional hospital in
an ambulance. That night the doctors operated on his appendix. The
young man was feeling better the next day. As he prepared to leave,
the hospital's representative took care of the paperwork by the
side of his bed. His Insurance
Company took care of the medical bills in accordance with his Insurance
contract. The next day the young man was back to school. The Insurance
Company saved the student from potential bankruptcy who was living
on limited means as a college student. The young man was none other
than me. The year was 2002. To this day I praise my good fortune
that I was insured. Had I not been insured, I would have gone broke
and I would have never been able to make it through college. But,
Michael Moore did not bother to find countless stories like mine
to present a fair synopsis of the American health-care system.

Biased, unfair,
hateful, venomous and anti-free-market is how I would describe Michael
Moore's latest propaganda film Sicko. When I first heard
about Michael Moore's intention to make a film on health-care in
America, I was expecting a sequel for Supersize
Me
, considering his not so healthy lifestyle. Later
on I found out that the film was about the state of health-care
in America. Mr. Moore was upset at the way the Government has turned
health-care into a fiasco, while turning a blind eye towards his
socialist co-ideologues in Congress and State Legislatures who have
turned the environment for the health-care providers of America
into a hostile one by the means of populist legislation and frivolous
lawsuits.

As a Libertarian
leaning paleo-conservative, I have always known how the Government
just destroys anything that it can get its hands on. If you let
the Government dog-sit your cute little puppy, don’t be surprised
if it sucks the puppy’s blood by the time you are back. That's what
successive Government regimes have done to America. They sucked
the blood out of this idea that was supposed to promote life liberty
and the pursuit of happiness. They started with the destruction
of the constitution, followed by the destruction of the Republic.
When there was nothing left to destroy at the Federal level, they
stomped all over the States' rights by refusing the Southern States
their right to secede. The only institution that was left untouched
all along; the Supreme Court of the land, was destroyed by being
stuffed with partisan judges who have repeatedly stressed on their
loyalty for their party rather than showing any loyalty for the
constitution that they swore to defend. Destruction is what the
Government is good at. Whether it is the destruction of civilization
during wartime or it is the destruction of civil-rights during peace
time, destruction of health-care in America is just another accomplishment
of our Government.

Michael Moore
managed to find ten people across America who got "screwed"
by their Insurance companies. Why should I be surprised considering
the troll’s leftist leanings that he could not find even one individual
in this country of 300 million who owes a lot to the health-care
providers and Insurance companies which were by his or her side
during their tragic moments. While the commies in the movie hall
felt angry about the "greedy corporations," I thought
it was really stupid of the man who had his fingers chopped off
on an electric saw for not having an Insurance policy. You buy a
house to shelter your family. You buy food to keep your body functioning.
You buy other good things to improve your life. So, what kind of
dunce would trust the Government with his or her health, which is
the most important thing in our lives?

How about the
chick who did not care about reading through the fine print of her
Insurance policy, so that she knew that she may not have access
to certain services through her insurer. So, why was she surprised
when her Insurance company refused to reimburse her for the Ambulance
ride to the hospital? When she signed on her Insurance contract
that did not provide for an Ambulance service, the Insurance company
was right to assume that their client was willing to take the responsibility
of commuting to a hospital when in time of need. Otherwise, she
was always free to choose an Insurance contract that did provide
for Ambulance services.

There was another
sob story of an elderly couple who were bankrupted by the rising
cost of their prescription drugs. They should have explored their
other option. How about purchasing the prescriptions online? Last
year I was smitten by steroids. Now, I place my hands on this holy
computer that connects me to the world, that I have never consumed
any quantity of any substance that was never approved by the goons
at FDA. But, just out of curiosity, I looked into the possibilities
of sourcing those magic pills that could give me a dynamite physique
which would make the ladies go jelly in their knees. There are virtually
thousands of online pharmacies that fill your prescriptions for
a fraction of what you would pay at your local store. However, I
do agree that Pharmaceuticals are an entirely different problem
in America.

A couple of
years ago, I was listening to the Late Great Harry Browne's radio
interview with Marry Ruwart (download the show by right-clicking
here and
here). Miss
Ruwart who has been in the Pharmaceuticals industry for a long time
mentioned some of the Government-inflicted problems that the industry
faces. While Mr. Moore was quick to mention that 18,000 people die
in America every year because of no or little health-care coverage,
he failed to mention that an even greater number of people die in
America every year because the FDA either refuses to approve or
takes a decade to approve badly needed drugs. This is on the top
of the billions of dollars that the industry spends to research
and develop life-saving drugs. One must not forget that it takes
entire careers that span over several decades to develop a drug
that saves thousands of lives around the world.

While the Government
literally throws our hard-earned tax money into the furnace by spending
over a trillion dollars every year to develop weapon systems that
cause mass-destruction and extinguish thousands of lives, we should
have anything but disgust for the Pharmaceutical companies that
spend billions of dollars every year to develop cures for illnesses
that indiscriminately destroy human lives across the globe. They
expend their own limited resources for their work in contradiction
of our Government that extracts money from us at the point of a
gun. If they fail, they don't impose any cost on the society. If
they succeed, the consumers are free to buy or avoid their products.
That's the beauty of free markets.

I am not surprised
that drugs are so expensive in America. The retail price of the
drugs takes into account the decades it takes to develop the product
and another decade it takes to get an FDA approval. It takes into
account the cost of developing other drugs that never saw the light
of the day because FDA disapproved them; as if the Government really
cares whether we live or die. The cost takes into account the efforts
of the company to be the first to come up with the drug. The costs
further include the fact that there are investors who risk losing
their hard-earned money by investing in a risky venture that does
not guarantee profits.

I wonder why
the woman who went to Cuba with Michael Moore was so surprised when
she found out that generic versions of American drugs cost a fraction
of what they cost in America. The communist Government of Cuba does
not have to worry about FDA regulation, billions of dollars in research
and development costs and the risks that accompany investing the
billions of dollars. The communist Government of Cuba also does
not have to assume the liability of litigation that accompanies
the risk of doing business in a free market.

In the movie,
Michael Moore interviewed Che Guevara's daughter. That name sends
a chill down my spine while I fall through a worm hole as I think
of the thousands who were lined up against a wall and executed by
the devil. The rape chambers and the gulags that were set up long
before they inspired the tyrants in countries that had a desert
or a patch of tropical forest, seem to be Michael Moore's secret
prescription for those who vote Republican or dare to disagree with
him otherwise.

One must wonder
how Michael Moore managed to get hold of Che's daughter in Cuba.
Of millions of people in Cuba, Michael Moore managed to find the
link to the person who is the perfect antithesis of life and liberty.
While in Cuba, Michael Moore must have devoted considerable efforts
to locate and get access to the communist elite. And, when he finally
managed to get the access he used the supposed "luminaries"
to bash the American way of life. I wonder if Michael Moore paid
homage to Comrade Fidel, during his vacation in Cuba. The question
is, what kind of ideologue would care to see communist mass-murderers
or their descendants, and even caste them in an anti-free-market
propaganda. At least Michael Moore was honest about openly expressing
his communist-leaning sympathies by making us believe those damn
commies in the Caribbean do it better than Americans. A few years
ago, when a communist Ph.D. student who lived next door from me
defended Michael Moore, I wasn't a bit surprised.

Michael Moore
went to Canada, England, France and Cuba to contrast the charitable
Governments of these countries with the "evil American health-care
providers and Insurance companies." He went gaga over
how the Canadians get all the pills and shots in their bottoms and
don't have to pay a penny for it. How about the wretched Americans
living in Britain and France who get house visits by the doctor,
the Government paid nannies and not to forget the paid maternity
leaves? Only a person with an IQ equivalent to the room temperature
could be scammed by Michael Moore into believing that there are
these wonderful places on earth where people get all these nice
things in a gift bag for free from the Government.

I will repeat
an old adage: "there is no such thing as a free lunch."
The costs of sub-standard health-care services in these countries
are socialized by their Government by literally taxing their citizens
to death. In Canada, the taxes may not be as bad as Europe but the
Government makes private health-care next to impossible by highly
subsidizing socialized health-care and thus creating an uneven playing
field. In Britain, the National Health Services is just one of the
programs along with other frivolous Government spending that the
taxpayers fund by shelling out every penny they earn for the first
six months of a year (the tax holiday in Britain falls around mid-year).
In France, health-care is just another Government sham along with
the guaranteed employment, 35-hour work-week and guards against
laying-off unproductive employees which motivates employers to discriminate
between the usually reliable natives and the usually unreliable
stereotypically lazy immigrants from Africa and other countries.
Finally, do I need to believe the Castro-approved shooting locations
for Michael Moore to conclude that Cuba provides world-class health-care,
or is it that all I need to realize how screwed up of a place Cuba
is when I hear of all those hundreds of thousands of Cubans in South
Florida who risked their lives by swimming 90 miles to make it to
America. It seems to me that the promise of a future in a society
that has some sort of free-market leaning way of life is more powerful
than the so-called "free health-care" of communist Cuba.

The question
that Michael Moore seeks to answer in his documentary is whether
we should have a for-profit health-care system in America. The unequivocal
answer is "yes." If we remove the incentive of profit
from health-care in America, we will lose the edge that we hold
over the rest of the world in terms of ground-breaking medical and
pharmaceutical research and development. The lack of profit will
lead the investors to move their investments elsewhere, where the
Government does not poke its nose. In the absence of profits, and
under the blessings of the Government, health-care which will get
to be known as "public-health-care" will turn into just
another bureaucratic hell hole like public education.

Speaking of
public education, Michael Moore must be so out of touch with reality
living in his upscale condo somewhere in New York to claim that
the Government is doing an excellent job at indoctrinating, oops!
I meant educating our children. I wonder if Michael and his wife
sent his stepdaughter to a public school in Bronx. If so, I admire
this committed socialist. The state of public education in America
is no secret for the rest of the world. How can you trust a corrupt
institution like Government that lacks morality and principles to
teach your children to grow up to be principled moralists? Besides,
all you need to do to realize that the Government has diminished
the intelligence and imagination our children is to have a peep
in the places of high-end scientific research and development. You
will feel as if though you are in Beijing of Bangalore. I admire
the few American kids who manage to survive years of Government
induced academic torture and still manage to make it to places that
make this country proud.

The point is
that when we allow the Government to become the monopoly in areas
such as education, police, fire department and road transport (to
mention a few), we reject the prospects of a healthy competition
which is required to provide the best services that money can buy.
In the absence of competition, people get used to Government-provided
sub-standard service. In a few years time we reach a stage that
when a rational individual proposes the prospects of free and fair
competition in areas where the Government holds a monopoly, the
first thing to come out of people who seem to fill their Ritalin
prescriptions on time is: "What about the roads, and who is
going to provide the services of police and the fire department?"
What are we going to do when armed gangs roam the streets like they
did in New Orleans? We have reached a point in time, when it is
a sin to even imagine what things would be like in the absence of
Government monopolies and presence of a free-market-based competition.

America has
moved from being a Jeffersonian Republic to being a Hamiltonian
State (see DiLorenzo),
where the Government is nothing short of being a monarchy that Americans
sanction every few years via the Diebold machines. It is not just
about health-care. It is a problem with a much broader context.
Government oversight and regulation has virtually seeped through
every aspect of our lives. We are just short of having Government’s
cameras in our bedrooms. We are living in a state of emergency.
While people like Michael Moore would like the Government to baby-sit
us as long as it is not the Republicans, it is the duty of every
concerned citizen to peacefully oppose the expansion of Government-led
socialization.

While Michael
Moore’s message may have been a compassionate one that urges us
to take care of the weak and the vulnerable in our society, the
repercussions of his suggestions of a socialized health-care sound
ominous to just any rational individual. Instead of letting the
Government assume any further control over our health-care system,
we need to urge the Government to systematically de-socialize the
way we take care of our health. We could start with the dismantling
of the FDA so that pharmaceutical companies can speed up the provision
of life-saving drugs. Next, we could dismantle the American Medical
Association that regulates the number of doctors entering the industry
every year. Then we may not need to import doctors from other countries
that do not regulate their supply. Further we need to enforce the
right of health-care institutions to hire non-union staff. If the
hospital employees still volunteer to strike, the hospital's administrators
should have the right to suspend or fire the striking staff without
notice and compensation. Finally, we need to have dedicated attorneys
who tear to shreds the frivolous lawsuits that are filed against
health-care providers causing their Insurance premiums to go up,
which in turn inflate our medical and insurance bills. After all
these efforts we could achieve a health-care system that can take
care of the weak and the vulnerable in our society. If Michael Moore’s
intentions are genuine, then I am sure the consequences of a market-based
health-care system will make him feel better. In the meantime he
needs to lay-off that box of Twinkies.

While the concept
of markets may not mean anything to Michael Moore, people have spoken
by the means of markets and have delivered
their verdict against him
. The movie opened at ninth spot on
the US box office, and has been struggling to cover its production
budget of nine million dollars. This is in stark contrast to his
Republican bash-fest Fahrenheit 9/11, which made over 100
million dollars. After this debacle, I hope no rational investor
would risk their money with the Twinkie-monster. In the mean
time, I hope Fidel Castro appoints Michael Moore the minister of
propaganda in Cuba.

July
12, 2007

Sumit
Dahiya [send him mail]
is graduate student in Economics at San Diego State University.
See his website, which
focuses on south-Asian affairs from a libertarian point of view.

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