Also: They Have Funny Accents

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Is it just me, or does Stephen Hunter seem to be stretching to find things about SiCKO that are worth complaining about:

His anecdotes draw pointed contrasts with Europe, as he returns to France and England as examples of superb health-care systems, but the comparisons are never put in any kind of context. France and the United Kingdom each has a population of around 60 million, a fifth of America’s 300 million. Is it easier to administer a program so much smaller? I don’t know, but I’m not investigating health care; he is, he should and he doesn’t.

Well, look, no filmmaker can consider every possible permutation. If Hunter wants to complain that Moore has ignored some relevant issue, he ought to make the argument for its relevance. Maybe he could ask one of his colleagues at The Washington Post who covers health care if he thinks this is an important issue. My guess is that large population size is probably an asset for a national health care system, since the existence of a larger populations means it’ll be easier to project future health care needs.

I might worry that some countries are too small to engage in the right sort of planning. But I’ll concede that like Holmes (and, I guess, Moore) I haven’t thought a lot about the issue. It would, however, be pretty simple to divide the country into five semi-autonomous “health care regions” for the purposes of administering a national health care system. Obviously, one loses ones card as a Serious Independent Thinker unless one professes disdain for Michael Moore, but Moore’s basic thesis here (admirably summarized by Holmes as “American health coverage = BAD, European health coverage = GOOD”) isn’t especially controversial among the most earnestly wonkish analysts you can imagine.

Photo by Flickr user Gadl used under a Creative Commons license