June 30, 2007

You Know You're In Trouble When the Associated Press Starts Slapping You Down

Michael Moore's new movie, Sicko, is starting to generate buzz as folks see it. Unfortunately, I don't think that this AP news story is quite what he was hoping for:

But one aspect missing from the film is the defense. Do not expect to hear anyone speak well of the care they received in the U.S. On the other hand, patients and doctors from Canada, Britain, France and Cuba marvel at their health care.

If the bias is that obvious, then even those who wish to believe are going to have trouble with it. I mean, who would've thought you'd see things like this:

Moore tells viewers there are about 50 million people in the U.S. without health insurance.

Just this past week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated there are about 43.6 million uninsured people in the country. In March, the Census Bureau put the number at 44.8 million.

That's still a lot, but undercounting by millions?!?! Or how about:

Taking on the pharmaceutical industry, Moore says it spent millions of dollars lobbying Congress for a Medicare prescription drug benefit.

"Of course it was really a bill to hand over $800 billion of our tax dollars to the drug and health insurance industry," he said.

Moore is citing the projected cost for the Medicare drug benefit's first 10 years.

Last year, however, Medicare officials told The Associated Press that the projected cost of the benefit through 2015 stood at about $729 billion, a substantial drop compared with original estimates.

What's that first rule about digging a hole?

Moore also noted the some of the elderly in the drug program could end up paying more for their prescriptions than they did before. That is true. But the vast majority do save because of the tens of billions of dollars in annual government subsidies to help cover the cost of their medicine. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says people save about $1,200 a year on average by participating in the program, called Medicare Part D.

We need a bigger shovel.

At one point, Moore notes where the U.S. ranks in terms of health care around the world.

"The United States slipped to No. 37 in health care around the world, just slightly ahead of Slovenia," he said.

That ranking is based on a 2000 report from the World Health Organization that some health analysts viewed as misleading.

Yeah, riiiiiiight. Thirty-seventh.

The rest of the article notes where Moore gets it right, but also points out where he tells half-truths, hides inconvenient facts, and misleads you about the numbers in order to make his opinion seem valid.

Michael Moore is a liar. Too bad too, because I understand that he's a talented filmmaker.

Posted by: Ted at 01:20 PM | category: Links
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