What Atrios Said

I was watching the Larry King thing with Moore/Gupta and Atrios' reaction is my own:

I haven't gone into the full details, but from what I could tell from the Larry King joint appearance tonight what happened was fairly typical. Basically, to "fact check" Moore, the kind of scrutiny which rarely happens to, say, hacks from AEI or the Preznit of Amurka, Gupta pulled up some nitpickery alternative numbers. One could determine whether Gupta's chosen numbers were more or less correct than Moore's, but nothing supported the idea that Moore "fudged the facts" as was claimed. . . . [w]hat is clear is that "fact checking Moore" means one can throw up something, anything, and use it to cast doubt on his integrity. I welcome fact-checking. I just wish CNN would subject more of their guests to it.

In the spirit of fact checking, I would point to pieces of shoddy factual work by Gupta that I am personally familiar with. One was his fact-checking a few months ago of Bush's claim on stem cell research where Gupta was not willing to call out the flat out falsehoods of the bush Administration on this. Would that he held the President of the United States to the same standards as he appears to want to hold Michael Moore.

But the other was tonight.

[UPFDATE] Corrected a mistake by me and added some thoughts to the original post.Here is the transcript

Gupta went on a strange tangent on Social Security and said that Social Security will be bankrupt in 2019. I was wrong. Gupta is discussing Medicare, not Social Security. Still a strange tangent and a strange reliance on projections, when he severely crticized Moore for using projections:

GUPTA: No, no, it's not, Michael. And, obviously, that's -- it's a shameful system, especially when I'm dealing with some of my patients. But, Michael, I mean on the one hand --

MOORE: Right.

GUPTA: -- you've criticized the --

MOORE: That's why I want to eliminate the middle man.

GUPTA: You criticize the government so soundly. But you're willing to hand over one of our most precious commodities, our health care in this country, to the government. I'm not saying I disagree with you. But I can't believe you're saying this all in the same sentence.

You so soundly criticize the way this government manages things, yet you're willing to hand over this precious commodity to them.

MOORE: No. I actually love our government. I think the government is great. It does a great job of administrating Social Security. Our parents and grandparents get their checks every single month on time and for the correct amount.

Our government used to do a lot of things really well. We put a man on the moon in eight years, after the president said we're going to put a man on the moon. We had FDR, who defeated the Nazis and then the Japanese and Mussolini in less time than it's taken us to secure the road from the airport to downtown Baghdad.

GUPTA: I hear you.

MOORE: I mean the government actually used to do things right. The problem is who we've put in power who holds office. They're the ones who sort of messed this up and we just need to have the right people there administrating it.

KING: Well --

GUPTA: Michael, one of the best examples of health care, at least some sort of universal health care, would be Medicare. I think you would agree with that.

MOORE: Yes --

GUPTA: It's going to go bankrupt by 2019. It's going to be $28 trillion in debt by 2075.

Look, I believe the very measure of a great society is in how we take care of those who cannot take care of themselves.

But would you say that this is going to be still a working system 20 years from now?

Is that what you --

It seems that Gupta's argument is that universal health care is bad. Indeed, one could say that Gupta had abandoned neutrality on the story. He was no longer a neutral reporter but a person with a view on universal health care.

Other strange moments from Gupta:

Dr. Gupta, what did he fudge?

GUPTA: Well, you know, we talked about the specific numbers with regards to Cuba per capita spending versus in the United States. And look --

KING: All right, let's get through that.

GUPTA: Well, I mean, he pulls $251 from this BBC unsourced report and then he -- and then he has this $7,000 number, which is a projected HHS number. It's not -- it's not an actual number yet.

The Medicare numbers that Gupta cites to Moore in the segment are "not an actual number yet" either. More:

And you brought up the point, Larry, maybe the numbers aren't that wildly different. But I think the numbers are important here because I think the issue here is that I think it blackens the eyes of people who are actually trying to do something about health care, who actually want to know the numbers, who want to do right by their bodies and their loved one's health. It makes it very hard to advance the argument if you're not getting the numbers right.

But Moore did not get the projections wrong. Did Gupta blacken the eye of folks working on Medicare reform?

Finally, on the issue whether health care is free in France, a rather strange argument (not a fact issue by the way) came from Gupta:

I also think the whole idea, Michael, of just calling it a free system I think is a little bit nebulous to people who don't fully understand what you mean by that. Yes, you've got to raise taxes significantly. I mean France is drowning in taxes. They're running a $15.6 billion debt.

Gupta also warns about Medicare's debt problem in the US. And it is not free in the US by any definition. Hard to follow Gupta's point. Consider:

I mean it's very hard to pay for this sort of thing. And to just call it free and say it's free, I think, makes it very -- it's murky, Michael, at best. And I think that's what I have difficulty with when you're trying to really advance a scenario here where we can get health care for everybody.

KING: Good point. Michael?

MOORE: Well, he just used the line from my film where I said the French are drowning in taxes. That's my line.


GUPTA: Well, look --

MOORE: Isn't that --

GUPTA: Michael, I think you would have to agree.

MOORE: Don't you agree?

GUPTA: No. Let me -- you would have to agree that people would walk away from your film with the perception that health care is free in Canada.


GUPTA: I mean you're a filmmaker.

MOORE: It is free.

GUPTA: You know how to do this sort of thing.

MOORE: It is free.

GUPTA: You pay for it through taxes --

MOORE: It is free.

GUPTA: I mean, in France, there's a 13.5 percent --

MOORE: Yes. We pay for it --

GUPTA: -- payroll tax.

MOORE: We pay.

GUPTA: There's a 5 percent income tax. That's in addition to a --
It is literally free for the patient even though taxes support it. Are publioc schools "free?" Police? Any government service? Gupta is really rather ridiculous on this.

In essence, Sanjy Gupta did what the Media always does, shoody incompetent work that brays the same nonsense over aqnd over again as if it was some accepted truth. Of course Gupta was wrong. The Media often is on such things.

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    i'm afraid dr. gupta (4.50 / 2) (#3)
    by cpinva on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 02:39:29 AM EST
    suffers a common failing among doctors: because he got through medical school, he feels he's an expert on everything. i saw this a lot in my early years as an auditor. it's why dr's are also seen as financial pigeons.

    i've watched him on cnn; he's very telegenic, and presents a rational, calming demeanor. he also blurts out things that make me want to reach through the screen and grab him by the throat, because it's clear he hasn't a clue what he's talking about.

    et al (1.00 / 0) (#16)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 08:40:42 AM EST
    I am sad.

    We need NHC.

    Having Moore as a spokesperson is the kiss of death. He is too interested in winning each point.

    i.e. Re the government:

    Our parents and grandparents get their checks every single month on time and for the correct amount.

    Not true and anyone who wanted to could find many, many ancedotal instances where the amount was wrong and then tell of the difficulties in correcting it.

    We had FDR, who defeated the Nazis and then the Japanese and Mussolini in less time than it's taken us to secure the road from the airport to downtown Baghdad.

    Yes, and we also had a 100% united country that brooked no protests, had a draft, censored individual letters and news from the battle fronts, put Japanese citzens in camps, used military tribunals, rationed gas, sugar, auto tires, cooking oil, etc.. And, at the end when faced with huge lossess if we invaded Japan we used the nuclear option.

    (Please let's don't into an argument over the above. I'm just saying that's what the Right will say.)

    In addition his exchange saying:

    MOORE: It is free.

    GUPTA: You pay for it through taxes --

    MOORE: It is free.

    GUPTA: I mean, in France, there's a 13.5 percent --

    MOORE: Yes. We pay for it --

    GUPTA: -- payroll tax.

    MOORE: We pay.

    That will make a perfect commercial showing a rational Gipta, an incorrect Moore, a rational Gupta showing Moore wrong, and Moore admitting to being wrong.

    Moore will run off the middle and stiffen the Conservatives.

    Plus, arguing over who has the "best" system is counterproductive. The real question is what it will cost and how will we pay for it.

    Pay roll taxes in England and Canada are sky high and will allow the opposition to correctly claim the middle class is paying for everyone else. If you don't solve that issue up front, NHC is dead on arrival.

    Taxes in Britain are not "sky high". (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Avedon on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 09:46:36 AM EST
    Here's another thing they don't tell you about taxes in Britain: There are no local income taxes.  The national income tax we pay is the only income tax we pay.

    And we don't sit around whining about our taxes, because at the end of the day, anyone who makes the equivalent of $60K a year can support a household comfortably in London - and never worry about healthcare.  In fact, I know quite a few people who live very nicely on half that.  In London.

    And again: You are already paying as much in taxes for the American healthcare system as we are - but you have to pay again to actually receive healthcare.  We don't have to do that over here.


    Avedon (1.00 / 0) (#34)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 09:47:22 PM EST
    And again: You are already paying as much in taxes for the American healthcare system as we are - but you have to pay again to actually receive healthcare.  We don't have to do that over here.

    As I said, that sounds interesting. Do you have any back up? It would be a great point.


    repubs killed NHC ... (none / 0) (#25)
    by Sailor on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 12:49:15 PM EST
    ... just like they're killing expanding children's health care.

    Only moore is bringing it to people's attention and reigniting the nat'l debate.

    Having Moore as a spokesperson is the kiss of death.
    only to you and people who wouldn't vote for NHC anyway. Your prejudice against moore belies the fact that he has had the 2 highest opening weekends for documentaries. He's extremely popular and focuses debate national debate on a subject that has been ignored since the rethugs shot down clinton's plan.

    Sailor (1.00 / 0) (#30)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 09:13:59 PM EST
    I have written in support of NHC for years, and the comments are in the archives.

    My concern over Moore is as I stated. He turns people off. We don't need that. We need people listening and understanding the problem, and why it needs to be solved, now.

    That you apparently don't understand the cost to the individuals, as well as to the cost to the economy by depressing new start ups, is a problem, if you truly want to be part of the solution, you need to correct.


    The Kiss Of Death? (none / 0) (#26)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 01:03:13 PM EST
    Your prediction for Fahrenheit 9/11 was that Moore and his movie would be the kiss of death for the mid term elections.

    How did that pan out, ppj.



    squeaky (1.00 / 0) (#31)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 09:19:42 PM EST
    Hmmmmm. Did I say that?? It's possible, us elderly citizens in need of NHC sometimes have memory lapses...

    But could I have some proof?? Not that I don't trust you...

    Ah the heck with it. No. I don't trust you.


    Especially since you have confessed you don't need facts to smear someone.


    DA - Let me help you (1.00 / 0) (#38)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 10:37:56 AM EST
    Hmmm, well, if I keep on making inaccurate political predictions I can manage a Demo's losing Presidential Campaign.. But to be acurate, I think you need to go to the source of the quote, not the apparently misleading link you provided.

    Here it is:

    Re: Sully and Lehman Embrace "Fake But Accurate"  
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 07:39:14 AM EST
    Now the Right has struck back. How accurate is the movie? At least as, and probably more than Moore's paean to ignorance, out of context nonsense and propaganda. Will it harm the Demo's chance at winning the House and the Senate? Probably. But if ABC knuckles under and pulls it, the Demos will absolutely loose the election.

    1. Given the slim margins many of the races were won by, I think it is proven that it harmed the Demos.

    2. Given that ABC did not pull the movie we have no way of knowing if I would have been right.

    As they say... Context is everything.

    Ta Ta and have a nice day!!!!!


    DA - You have been proven wrong. (1.00 / 0) (#44)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 04:16:50 PM EST
    Your protests are great for giggles, but hard on your creditbility which has just taken a major hit.

    To prove that, if anyone uses the link you gave them, they go to a partial quote which you try and use to prove I claimed something when I clearly did not.

    If they use the phrase you provided, go to advanced Goodle search for TalkLeft, they will go to:

    Re: Sully and Lehman Embrace "Fake But Accurate" (none / 0) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 07:39:14 AM EST

    You've trapped yourself, DA. Congrats. Enjoy the humble pie.

    Ta Ta and lol


    DA (1.00 / 0) (#47)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 08:29:41 PM EST
    What I find enjoyable is watching you be so eager to win that you do a search and find your own misquote, which you then use again.

    Just deserts and all that... or...

    As Gump said, "Stupid is as stupid does."

    Care for some milk with that pie?? No?

    Scoop of ice cream??

    Too busy gagging, eh??

    Ta ta and lol.


    DA You embarrass yourself. (1.00 / 0) (#49)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 08:59:02 PM EST
    I wrote:

    But if ABC knuckles under and pulls it, the Demos will absolutely loose the election.

    You quoted:

    the Demos will absolutely loose the election.

    Good God man. Even Dan Rather would not have tried and defend that obvious misquote and false claim.

    See ya!


    Revisionist History (none / 0) (#27)
    by Slado on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 04:53:24 PM EST
    I believe the intent of F9/11 was to get Kerry elected.

    How'd that work out?



    Squeaky (none / 0) (#40)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 10:59:07 AM EST
    DA has struck out and Slado points out you have the wrong elections.

    Wanna try again??



    Gupta (none / 0) (#1)
    by ksh on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 12:41:47 AM EST
    His rise at CNN is an odd one.  It seems that the combination of looks and surgical ability qualifies one to comment on any number of fields.  And it was amazing that Blitzer, in his defense of Gupta, pointed to Gupta's grandstanding (and failed) impromptu surgery while embedded with the military in Iraq.  Suddenly the story was about Gupta, not the war.  His tangent is another example of his elasticized eqo, change the subject and sound authoritative and bingo, you have your turf back.


    Strange tangent on Social Security? (none / 0) (#2)
    by CMike on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 02:19:57 AM EST
    Wasn't Gupta talking about Medicare going broke?

    Re: Strange tangent on Social Security? (none / 0) (#5)
    by kst on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 04:03:35 AM EST
    Yes.  I only saw a few minutes of the show, so I could have missed something, but Gupta was definitely talking about Medicare going bankrupt.

    You missed it (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 06:24:37 AM EST
    Gupta was reacting to Moore's discussion of Social Security checks nd gov't competence.

    Wrong on me (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 06:28:06 AM EST
    I missed it.

    You are right. I was wrong.

    I am posting a correction.


    Nope (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 06:25:22 AM EST
    Social Security.

    I was wrong (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 06:28:34 AM EST
    You were right.

    But knowledge in one field (none / 0) (#4)
    by TomStewart on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 03:22:21 AM EST
    means knowledge in all fields! Can't you see that?

    Some of the biggest suckers for cons and physics are scientists, because, well, they're smart don't you know, and would just know if someone was cheating. The Amazing Randi was says that when testing 'physics' a scientist should always have a trained, professional magician to observe as well.

    So, the CNN fact checker needs a fact checker?

    No surprise there.

    Neurosurgeons (none / 0) (#6)
    by clio on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 04:12:15 AM EST
    are surgeons' surgeons, and surgeons are the most egotistical and aggressive of doctors.  Ask any psychiatrist.

    I've met lots of neurosurgeons and the number who are not bastards can be counted on the fingers of one hand with some spares.

    Now, to be fair to neurosurgeons no dummy - and no one with clumsy hands - makes it into, much less through, a decent neurosurgery residency and the neurosurgery boards are ghastly.  Not just anyone mucks around in brains. In addition Gupta is a teaching surgeon at Grady, a major teaching hospital. Very impressive.

    All that said, Dr. G. is burning the candle at both ends, trying to carry two full time careers.  If he's a decent doc, the one he's slighting is journalism.  It's also clear that he's got a bad case of the infallibles , as cpinva said:  he's smart, he's decided, and he's right.  No fat guy with messy hair can tell Dr. G. anything.

    It would be helpful if, in the second meeting that Larry King promised, Michael Moore brought a doctor along.  Preferably a high-powered surgical type.  Dr. G. will never listen to anyone else:  cf. how he was shaking his head and smiling derisively whenever MM spoke.  It would also help if MM found the articles the good doctor was quoting about cardiac cath - they're on line- and had someone to discuss the assumptions that G. was making.  A Canadian physician with a policy background discussing the weaknesses of their system - a main one being that it's been underfunded and has fallen behind - would be dynamite.

    Finally, it would be nice if Dr. G. were both less provincial - other medical systems have their excellences, which we should imitate, and their weaknesses, which with planning we could avoid - and less obviously afraid that health care reform will cut his income.  

    Not that I expect this to happen.  It's just a wish for the record.

    The News Hour does this all the time (none / 0) (#7)
    by kovie on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 05:59:59 AM EST
    Susan Denzer, their semi-new medical correspondent, did a brief hit piece on Sicko a few weeks ago. I can't recall the specifics but it was of a piece with all the other "Well, he's exaggerating, it's not so bad, blah blah blah" hit pieces we've seen. She might even have thrown in a "some say" or two, which is common practice at the News Hour. Judy Woodruff did it tonight with former Surgeon General Carmona, who recently claimed to have been stifled by the administration on issues like stem cell research. She threw out one of these journalistic spitballs to make it look like maybe he was exaggerating.

    I don't know how often they do this because they want to suck up to the big boys, how often they do this for fear of retribution and being accused of having liberal bias (like that really matters anymore--clueless as ever these idiots), and how often they do this because they really do have it in for people who dare to tell the truth and do their jobs properly (not having done theirs for so long it's natural that they instinctively hate those who still do). But it's crap, and they would all be cleaning up plastic bags and coffee cups off the sides of highways if there was justice in the world. How do they look at themselves in the mirror?

    Maybe Richard Stengel should send them all extra copies of his "You da man of the year" issue, and then take a good look at one himself.

    I kinda wish (none / 0) (#8)
    by Stewieeeee on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 06:07:41 AM EST
    moore made the exact same point that was just made here.

    great.  be good fact checking diligent journalists.  but ALSO be good fact checking diligent journalists when the nation is running headlong into war too!!!!

    i really agree with the point being made here.

    but i would point out that moore didn't articulate that point.  he took a defensive posture and tried to make a case that the journalism provided by CNN is dictated to CNN by the companies that fund them with advertising.

    CNN is going down fast (none / 0) (#9)
    by Lacy on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 06:15:46 AM EST
    Exacto! First Gupta plays the magnanimous "corrector" who says only a typo and bad memory allowed him to be off by a factor of ten(!) in his false claim that MM grossly mistated the Cuban per capita medical expenditure, but Gupta then uses a number found somewhere else (only slightly lower than Moore's actual stated expenditure) to continue his quibbling.

    And Gupta and King (and this morning, CNN's Roberts) all play dumb in berating Moore for getting US and Cuban expenditures from different sources, when they know MM got the US figures from the US HHS, which tracks US, not Cuban expenditures!

    And why is CNN putting that idiot Glen Beck in the 8 PM time slot now? And why did they just can the delightful and objective Soledad O'Brien in pairing a Fox and Friends castoff with bad actor Roberts for the Morning show? And why do these things at a time when the US is seemingly becoming more sensible?

    Soledad got canned?? (none / 0) (#14)
    by aj12754 on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 06:36:17 AM EST
    Lucky her -- NBC would take her back in a red-hot second ... they love her over there.

    he cites France as having 15 billion deficit (none / 0) (#15)
    by teacherken on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 07:31:41 AM EST
    is that in their overall budget or just in their medical budget?  If it is their overall budget, and they get health care for no additional out of pocket expenses, I think you might get an argument that they are NOT drowning in Taxes.  We are running a half-trillion dollar deficit overall, and we have lots of additional out of pocket costs for our medical.

    If what he is talking about is a shortfall in their medical program, they are in fact still doing better than what we are projecting to do with medicare, and they are covering a larger number of people - their entire population versus our seniors.  

    IS Gupta himself fudging numbers or cherrypicking, or simply not all that clear in what he is trying to say?

    That's total budget, I think. (none / 0) (#17)
    by Avedon on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 09:28:23 AM EST
    I believe the shortfall for the French healthcare system is something like two billion.

    What I'd really like to see is a comparison between what individuals in other countries pay in taxes for their health system compared with what Americans are paying in taxes that goes to the taxpayer-funded portions of our healthcare system.  You can bet it's more than $251.

    This is a point that is never stressed enough - and seldom mentioned at all: We pay taxes for our healthcare system.  In fact, we pay at least as much as they pay in those other countries.  But having paid that, we don't get the healthcare.

    As to the fact that a high percentage of Americans say they are satisfied with their healthcare: Get into the details and you discover that the Americans who express the most satisfaction with their healthcare are getting it from the government, usually through Medicare.  

    (Yes, I was very satisfied with the treatment I was getting at NIH.  And the furniture was better than at an NHS hospital, too.  But the care I get from the NHS has been excellent so far, and certainly no worse than what I got from private doctors in Maryland.)


    Avedon (1.00 / 0) (#20)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 09:54:48 AM EST
    This is a point that is never stressed enough - and seldom mentioned at all: We pay taxes for our healthcare system.  In fact, we pay at least as much as they pay in those other countries.  But having paid that, we don't get the healthcare.

    Do you have any specifics? That seems counter intuitive, and would be an important point, especially if it can be shown that the change could be revenue neutral.

    Having used Medicare for over four years, I think the satisfation is mostly based on the ability to select health providers and change if you don't like the provider. Lose that and the figure will fall like a rock. That's why my vision of NHC keeps that... kind of a glorified Medicare.. Americare ???


    Excuse me? (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Avedon on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 10:24:45 AM EST
    Are you suggesting that I can't choose my doctor here in London?

    When we bought this house, we walked around the neighborhood looking at doctor's offices, talking to the staff, looking at the waiting rooms, and then we talked to our neighbors.  

    Then we went into the office of the doctor we liked the most (who happened to be virtually across the street) and asked if they were taking new patients, and they signed us up.

    It's true, if I decided I didn't like my doctor, I would actually have to write a letter to the NHS to ask to be taken off his rolls and allowed to choose another doctor, but they would do it, and I could just go pick another doctor.

    Of course, I would do that before I had an emergency, but if for some reason I didn't get around to it, I could just go to the local walk-in clinic and get my care from them until I got around to signing up with another doctor.  They'd want a lot of difficult-to-obtain information in order to sign me up, like my name, address, and date of birth.  Oh, and my phone number.  My god, the horror!

    Go ahead, tell me how much easier it is for you to choose a doctor in the US.


    Avedon - Uh, I'm on the side of NHC (1.00 / 0) (#32)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 09:28:11 PM EST
    I was unaware that you are in London, and have never claimed any expertise in GB's NHC. But my comment stands. If we lose choice, satisfaction will fall. And the changing by writing a letter gives me goose bumps. That reeks of defense by the Doctor to be "changed."

    My question re taxes obviously can't be answered by you unless you are an expert in US taxes, which I don't think you are.

    But it is an interesting point, in my mind.

    Anyone. Can it be shown that NHC will be tax neutral??


    My experience in London (none / 0) (#23)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 10:57:17 AM EST
    I hope this isn't too off topic, but my experience in London was terrific, considering I slipped in the shower and ended up doing a 360 onto the marble floor in my bathroom at the Four Seasons and split my forehead open down to the bone.

    While at first I was upset I couldn't have a plastic surgeon of my choosing come on over to the ER and sew me up, it turned out the ER doctor assigned to me was so good he was able to use butterflies instead of stitches leaving hardly any residual markings (all gone now, ten years later.)

    A few days later, I was sent to a very nice older doctor whose office was in a lovely brownstone for a follow-up. I was very happy with him too.

    I wonder how foreign tourists that don't have American health insurance fare in American ER rooms?  

    While I doubt I'll stay at that Four Seasons again -- I'm definitely staying with my Cybersis Avedon if I ever get back to London --  I do trust the British medical system.


    Your room is waiting... (none / 0) (#24)
    by Avedon on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 11:55:25 AM EST
    Won't be quite as upmarket as the Four Seasons, but you can't beat the price.

    (A friend of mine visited the States a few years ago and I begged him to get the standard travel insurance, but he was young and foolish and got charged five grand when he looked the wrong way before crossing a street and ended up with a busted leg.  My sister made exactly the same traffic error when she visited Britain, and was astonished to get free treatment.)


    Interesting article... (none / 0) (#28)
    by Slado on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 05:05:49 PM EST
    about an American in Britain.

    Makes good points about both sides of the argument.

    The reality is in a NHC system the more mundane and less complicated parts of Healthcare are handled swimingly and at no expense.

    Healthy people love NHC, sick people don't.

    If NHC is so great why is there a second rail for the rich?   Why is HCA opening hospitals in England that are pay as you go?

    People like Gupta are only trying to point out that a true NHC system is not the answer for everyone.   Dumbing down the whole of healthcare to make sure everyone gets it doesn't make everyone happy.

    Unless we all agree to let the sick die when they become to expensive.


    Slado (1.00 / 0) (#33)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 09:30:33 PM EST
    Unless we all agree to let the sick die when they become to expensive.

    Check out what happens in long term care.

    And then pray for a quick, hopefully pain free, heart attack.


    Avedon (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 09:34:08 AM EST
    Though I just tutted tutted you in my most recent post, please be assured I think the world of your work.

    Please keep it up.


    I like you, too. (none / 0) (#22)
    by Avedon on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 10:25:55 AM EST
    But you're wrong about the Santorum thing.



    Moore is talking but are we really hearing him? (none / 0) (#29)
    by Aaron on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 06:32:27 PM EST
    Nice to see people questioning what's been happening at CNN. Time Warner has been exerting their control with a heavy hand in recent months.  They've done very well for themselves during the Bush administration, and for anyone who has bothered to take notice, they have been reshaping CNN in carefully calculated increments over the last five years, decidedly to the right, away from the relatively central position the network once held. Glenn Beck is a prime example, there's a bought and paid for corporate water boy if I ever saw one.

    I think Soledad O'Brien has for some time apparently been considered to be something of a loose cannon, on occasion her behavior being deemed unpredictable, and the people at corporate didn't like that, it makes them nervous.  During the hurricane Katrina debacle she veered sharply off script, and let everyone see her outrage at what the Bush administration was allowing to happen. Of course they couldn't do anything about her then, when it became obvious to everyone that the President of the United States was a total incompetent who cared nothing for the people of this country, but they've had her marked for removal at least since that time.

    Of course they'll claim it's because of ratings, but that's just a cover for the careful expansion of control of media content. It's important to place pliable controllable individuals in anchor positions so that they can present a dispassionate face of calm to the people no matter what happens.  It's important to keep us all believing that what we see can't be that bad, because nobody on TV is too upset about it.  Dr. Sanjay Gupta is the perfect model for a commentator who can be counted upon to spin stories in a way that appears objective, but in fact is a means for achieving a specific objective handed down to him and others on CNN by their editors, who in turn receive less and less subtle directions from those up the corporate ladder.  Sanjay is the calming face of the likable doctor who reassures us that we have nothing to fear from the lobotomy that's being performed upon us.  "Relax -- this won't hurt."

    Time Warner and the other corporations who have a stranglehold on the major media outlets in this country have a great fear of anything that smacks of socialism, anything that might cut into their corporate dollars.  Michael Moore is a real threat to their moneymaking operations, specifically the insurance company and pharmaceutical lobbies which have a network of connections that stretch all the way to CNN, MSNBC, Fox, ABC etc.. When someone starts talking about free healthcare they start squirming in their seats, notice how Michael Moore kept repeating that phrase specifically, "it's free, it's free, it's free."   Those are perhaps the most frightening words anyone can utter in a society where capitalism and profits trump every other consideration, when it comes right down to it.

    Michael knows exactly what he's doing what he accuses CNN, he is specifically referencing those standing behind the network, and he made a point of mentioning the pharmaceutical and insurance companies.  Our media's corporate Masters are deathly afraid that the American people might catch on to what's been done to the networks which have always made a great show of putting the interests of the American people first, though close scrutiny often reveals a secondary competing agenda. Moore went out of his way to say at the beginning of yesterday's part 2 segment that he didn't want his words to be edited or cut in any way, I imagine if they hadn't agreed to that on camera, he would've ended the interview with Wolf right there.  Obviously the network had agreed to this stipulation in advance, but apparently Mikey doesn't trust them.

    It's interesting that so many people on the right have been praising Sicko, and why do you think that is? It's because they and their families have to deal with the horribly compromised health care system in this country as well, and they don't like seeing their loved ones suffer and at times even die unnecessarily either.

    If things keep going the way they're going, very soon the people on the Left and the Right are going to wake up in a country where they have both been marginalized, and we are going to finally realize that blaming each other is all part of a larger scheme to keep the people distracted and fighting among ourselves, while our country is quietly sold out from beneath us.

    The Bush administration is a perfect example of a federal government that has been manufactured, packaged and sold to us by corporate America, and if the elections were in fact legitimate, then the majority of us were willing to buy it, and come back for seconds.  Of course we seem to be having a bit of buyer's remorse these days, but that hardly matters since there man in the White House has nothing further to fear from the people of this country, he's got our money (country) and there's really nothing we can do about it until the next election.  We thought that the Congress might be able to provide an alternative means for getting our money's worth, but we found out quickly that they have apparently been effectively compromised as well.  Now we are left to ponder the direction we will take with our next purchase, thinking maybe the next time we'll make a wiser choice, having learned a hard lesson, but the best salesman can keep selling you the same thing over and over again, while convincing you that you're actually buying something new.  Bush and his band of corporate raiders was the test product to see if we would actually swallow unadulterated shameless corruption in our government, and even though we've choked a bit, we did end up swallowing it and keeping it down.  So I suspect they have many more such governments in store for us.

    Who will control America in this century WE THE PEOPLE, the majority of Americans, or we the people  a tiny minority of interest groups who will carefully dictate what we see, hear and think so that they can go on accumulating greater profits and consolidating more power, until one day  WE THE PEOPLE  will find ourselves sitting on the hard dirty ground somewhere stripped of everything, with the pleasantly smiling face of corporate America looking down on us with feigned sympathy and offering special terms on high interest rate loans so we can buy back our country, for a small fee of course, and the proviso that we cede controlling interest to them in perpetuity.  When that happens, we won't have any choice but to take whatever deal they offer, and that's exactly how they like to do business.

    Our health care "system" is designed to (none / 0) (#36)
    by rmirman on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 01:17:42 AM EST
    Our health care "system" is designed to care for the health of the insurance industry. What should be done to have a system that will care, in an efficient manner, for the health of real people? See my blog


    for a detailed description.

    rmirman (none / 0) (#39)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 10:50:21 AM EST
    Mike Ditto a couple of years back noted that the insurance industry would be the greatest foe of NHC. If I remember correctly he was specific about the billing, etc., that would be gone as a source of income.

    And you are right. We don't have a "system." What is very amusing (not) is that I am right now gazing at a bill for my wife's bone density scan. It was recommended by her Doctor. Medicare won't pay for it. So that means that for this month, our "free" healthcare will cost $748.

    Of course they will pay for the 911 call and all that follows if she breaks a hip.

    BTW - I have added your blog to my favs.. See you there.


    They'll get you for part of the ambulance bill (none / 0) (#42)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 11:32:03 AM EST
    particularly if you want to go to a different hospital than the one they are taking you to. I've paid hundreds in ambulance bills for the TL mom when she's fallen and had to go to the hospital.  And that's with Medicare and private insurance.

    Many of the hospital "chains" (1.00 / 0) (#45)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 04:32:45 PM EST
    use small town hospitals as a "collection point." So they claim that all 911 teams must deliver you to the hospital nearest you. What that means is they get to charge a double ER fee, etc.

    What the regulation actually says is that the 911 team should take the patient to the nearest hospital ER room that they believe can provide the required service.. That let's the teams adjust for ER rooms they know have equipment problems, no specialist available, full up, etc.  There is leeway. So start screaming as soon as the team arrives that you want her to go to "x." It works in this small town environment. It may also there.

    Thankfully our County 911 service pays 100% of ambulance fees. But then again the phone bill gets a hit that is about 4 times higher than the one in Denver.. so someone is paying..


    ppj keeps alleging 'facts' (5.00 / 0) (#51)
    by Sailor on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 09:20:57 PM EST
    show some links to your alleged facts.

    heh (none / 0) (#53)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 12:23:22 AM EST
    If you live long enough, and if you have a parent or friend you want to help, I offer the following advice.

    Do with it as you choose.

    1. 911 service payments depend on the location. Assume nothing.

    2. Know your local hospitals. If the patient needs a heart/lung specialist NOW, then your small local hospital most likely will not have  that specialist available at 2AM. The 911 team knows that, and don't have to follow guidelines and take your loved one there. But people are people and some may not want to buck the system. Demand immediately that the patient be taken to the nearest REGIONAL hospital. If they hesitate, scream about service and damages.

    3. If you need to transport a patient with, say, a small hip fracture, to long term care/therphy from a hospital, be sure that the Doctor specifies that the patient should be transported by an ambulance. If he doesn't the hopsital will just dump the patient on you, and if you ask for an ambulance, have about $600 in your jeans. Here again, just start yelling and they'll find the Doctor.

    4. Understand the guidelines for long term care. Basically Medicare pays for the first 30 days per occurance... That means if the patient can't go home, the patient pays.. if the patient can't pay and if they can't go home the state takes the home  for payment, including bank accounts, etc. This varies from state to state but it is essentially correct.

    There are guidelines and timeframes. So don't think you can wait until it is obvious the patient will need long term care and just have them sell/sign over the house/bank accounts/etc. That is called a sham transaction and will get you prosecuted for fraud.

    And no, Bush won't do jack for you.

    So read and read. Plus there are lawyers that specialize in this. Part with a few bills and get some accurate advice.

    5. Remember that Medicare pays 80% of the Doctor bill, so get some supplemental insuance as soon as  the person turns 65. That will pay the difference.

    That is NOT secondary insurance or long term insurance. Understand the difference.

    There are other things, but that is a start. And understand that Medicare doesn't pay for all tests, or tests done more often than they think is necessary. So read, read, read. And when you think you understand it all, you have barely scratched the surface.

    BTW - I'd give the same advice to any human being. But I must admit you stretch my charitable urges to the upmost limits.


    So you still can't link to facts (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Sailor on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 01:29:18 AM EST
    All I asked for was links to facts. I really don't care about your opinions, predictions, or ,god forbid, advice.

    Got facts? You keep bragging about your personal healthcare and how bush did so great by you.

    Yet above you seem to resent the $$ it is costing you and your family and seem to said bush won't do jack for you.

    So once again, GOT FACTS?


    Sailor (1.00 / 1) (#56)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 07:19:47 PM EST
    If you live long enough, and if you have a parent or friend you want to help, I offer the following advice

    If you had not wanted advice you could have quit reading at that point.

    Have a nice day.

    And what ever you do, don't pay attention to what someone who has been there says.


    what a peculiar comment ... (none / 0) (#57)
    by Sailor on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 12:17:29 AM EST
    ... from someone who constantly claims to have benefited from bush's tax policies. And all his other policies.

    Unfortunately, you, your wife and the rest of us now have to pay ... bigtime!


    dkmich (none / 0) (#41)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 11:11:36 AM EST
    Go back and read what I said.

    He turns off many in the middle and stiffens the resolve of the Right. Read my comment about him being wrong in the interview...Moore is an entertainer, a movie maker and has a huge ego. That's fine, but it is also divisive.

    Getting NHC will be a real fight. We don't need anyone making inflamatory statements and claims. People understand the problem, what they need is a solution that is explained calmly and rationally.

    Moore reminds me of someone screaming about the need for a traffic light after a bad accident has harmed several people. Everyone knows that. What we need is people willing to figure out how to install the light and what it will cost.

    And then tell the world in a manner that people will listen to.

    got links? (none / 0) (#50)
    by Sailor on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 09:19:47 PM EST
    He turns off many in the middle and stiffens the resolve of the Right.
    Moore is obviously hugely popular, (stats and links listed above.)

    You stated as fact that "He turns off many in the middle and stiffens the resolve of the Right." So put up some numbers that your beliefs are based on.