Rightie bloggers are gleefully linking to an item in the Toronto Star that pans Michael Moore’s new documentary Sicko. The author of the item, Peter Howell, writes,
We Canucks were taking issue with the large liberties Sicko takes with the facts, with its lavish praise for Canada’s government-funded medicare system compared with America’s for-profit alternative.
While justifiably demonstrating the evils of an American system where dollars are the major determinant of the quality of medicare care a person receives, and where restoring a severed finger could cost an American $60,000 compared to nothing at all for a Canadian, Sicko makes it seem as if Canada’s socialized medicine is flawless and that Canadians are satisfied with the status quo.
Moore makes the eyebrow-raising assertion that Canadians live on average three years longer than Americans because of their superior health care system.
In fact, my painstaking research (5 seconds of googling) revealed that Canadians live on average only 2.5 years longer than Americans because of their superior health care system. However, I would have thought 2.5 years is eye popping, too.
Since I haven’t seen the film I can’t judge how Moore describes the Canadian health care system, which does have some flaws. However, compared to our system the Canadian system is, um, way better.
Last week another Canadian, Liam Lacey of the Globe and Mail, wrote,
As in Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore uses Canada as an example of a more humane social system. When a Canadian reporter suggested the portrait of the Canadian medical system was unduly rosy, and wait times for care were long, Moore asked the reporter if he’d trade in his health card to join the American system.
“No,” said the reporter promptly, earning a laugh from the audience.
Liam Lacey predicts Sicko will be a hit.