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The quality of mercy

There's an old saying that you can't buy really good PR... but you can make a good stab at it.

Witness Michael Moore.

One of his more strident critics is Jim Kenefick, the guy who runs Moorewatch (and is a contributor to Wizbang Pop). He's been a pain in Moore's voluminous buttocks for some time.

A little while ago, though, circumstances conspired in a way that must have made Mikey think God loves him.

While Mikey was working on his "documentary" about the US health care system, Jim ran into some financial difficulties revolving around his health insurance. It turned out that he needed about $12,000, or he'd be without coverage.

Well, he got a message that an anonymous donor was looking to give him the money, no strings attached.

Naturally, that made Jim's spider-sense tingle. He smelled a rat -- a bearded rat in a sweatsuit. He did some digging and, while he couldn't come up with any conclusive proof, he was fairly certain that the "anonymous" donor was none other than Mikey himself.

He thought about it, and took the money anyway.

Jim's reasoning was sound: he would not reveal the likely donor, and the money was presented with "no strings attached," not even a "don't try to find out who this is." He was fairly certain that Moore had not done it out of the goodness of his heart, but as part of a plan to pull a "gotcha" on him, so he had no qualms about publicly expressing his suspicions even as he took the money.

If Moore had, indeed, intended it as an act of charity, then all he had to do was say nothing and let the matter fade away, content in the knowledge that he had done a decent, selfless thing. But if he was planning on "outing" Jim as a hypocrite and using Jim's own circumstances for his own publicity, then his cannons were quite effectively spiked.

Turns out that Jim's suspicions were pretty darned accurate. And if Mikey wants to write that $12,000 off as a "promotional expense" for Sicko, he's more than welcome.

The lesson here is simple. To quote the words of the Bard of Avon:

The quality of mercy is not strain'd, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest; It blesseth him that gives and him that takes: 'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes The throned monarch better than his crown; His sceptre shows the force of temporal power, The attribute to awe and majesty, Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings; But mercy is above this sceptred sway; It is enthroned in the hearts of kings, It is an attribute to God himself; And earthly power doth then show likest God's When mercy seasons justice.

Moore, it seems, was angling for boatload of positive publicity -- with the added bonus of taking down one of his more strident critics. But instead, he's out twelve grand and ended up looking like the asshole he is. Jim, meanwhile, has come out the winner: his wife's insurance coverage was continued, he has fresh affirmation of the scumminess of his chosen target, and now knows just how much he's getting under Moore's skin.

In that vein, I have myself run into some serious financial difficulties. The Golden Oldie has given up the ghost, and if any of my regular detractors would like to help me out -- "anonymously," of course -- that would be just peachy.


Comments (60)

It's a good sign that you'r... (Below threshold)
cirby:

It's a good sign that you're completely dishonest when you try to buy off your critics

I've seen comments from Moore supporters that broke down to "the guy took the money - why won't he shut up now?"

I don't buy it and I'll tel... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I don't buy it and I'll tell you why. In 2003, before Fahrenheit 9/11 was made, Moore was doing the book tour for Dude, Where's My Country?. I was still in school and working at Borders when he came through Chicago. I worked his book signing, and after about three hours of signing books for people, everyone had cleared out except a handful of employees, Moore, and a few lingering fans. Among them was a girl in her twenties on crutches. He asked her what had happened and she explained she had her leg severed below the knee in a motorcycle accident. She had no insurance and gave Moore her sob story, explaining she owed several thousand in medical bills she couldn't pay, etc. I don't remember the exact amount (I think it was around $8-9K), but Moore pulled out his checkbook and wrote her a check to cover it all. There was no one around but us Borders employees; no press, no PR people. I might not believe it had I not watched him do it. I never heard any mention of this incident anywhere in the press or elsewhere (and I checked Moore's website).

Say what you will about his politics, or manipulation in his films (I'm a critic in this regard as well), but I can say from personal experience that he is more than willing to help someone out when they need it just because he can and not for the PR.

Believe it, don't believe it. Doesn't matter to me. I saw it happen.

GOOD for Michael Moore!! He... (Below threshold)
seala:

GOOD for Michael Moore!! He deserves ALL the good publicity he gets. Too bad Jim doesn't have the balls to thank him! Can't wait for SICKO, premeire parties scheduled all over Miami the week it comes out. Miami is rolling out the red carpet for Moore who promised he'll bash Bush as often as we want him too.

Baksheesh, mantis. Name yo... (Below threshold)
kim:

Baksheesh, mantis. Name your latest logical fallacy.
=============================

"The Golden Oldie has gi... (Below threshold)

"The Golden Oldie has given up the ghost, and if any of my regular detractors would like to help me out -- "anonymously," of course -- that would be just peachy."

Head on down to the local sporting goods store, Jay. Your choice of skateboards - on me!

I am self employed and heal... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

I am self employed and health insurance is a major problem. I cringe every year at renewal time (which just happens to be now). The rates are going up 20% again this year. I pay for my own and a large portion of my one employee's insurance. I wonder how much longer I am going to be able to afford this. Compounding the problem is the fact that we, and our families, are all getting older and seeing more and more of the health problems that come with age. Woe is me (sarcasm). Regardless, I will never support nationalized health care because I am intelligent enough to recognize it for the Faustian bargain that it is. Such is a proposal that only the free lunch crowd can embrace, until they awake to discover that their last state is worse than the first and freedom has gone missing.

Say what you will about Mic... (Below threshold)
jim:

Say what you will about Michael Moore - but this PR stunt of his at least benefited another human being. Indeed, pulled his ass out of the fire.

And sure, credit to Jim Kenefick, for not changing his tune about someone, even if they're helping him.

For me, the real issue that remains, is that our health care system needs immediate attention and drastic overhauling.

If you hate Michael Moore, consider this a way to defeat Moore - let's actually fix the health-care system, so he has nothing to complain about.

Also, Jeff, I would like to... (Below threshold)
jim:

Also, Jeff, I would like to address this fallacy that our only options are socialism OR getting reamed by insurance companies.

We could actually cap insurance premiums, for instance. We could regulate the market. We could make sure that people can afford to be treated for conditions *before* they become serious - because insurance companies make it hard to get early treatment. We could make sure that a certain percentage of our insurance premiums are set aside to care for the uninsured - so their treatment doesn't push up the rest of our premiums.

In short, there are any number of solutions that don't result in communism. And we only need a couple of them.

It IS a scandal that our incredibly powerful nation has such godawful health care for the average working family. And there IS a lot we can do about it.

The way things are now, is that a lot of families WITH insurance are going bankrupt due to medical costs. They're playing the game by the rules and still getting shafted.

http://www.nchc.org/facts/cost.shtml

"A recent study by Harvard University researchers found that the average out-of-pocket medical debt for those who filed for bankruptcy was $12,000. The study noted that 68 percent of those who filed for bankruptcy had health insurance. In addition, the study found that 50 percent of all bankruptcy filings were partly the result of medical expenses (14). Every 30 seconds in the United States someone files for bankruptcy in the aftermath of a serious health problem."

I am sure that we can do better.

What is more likely here, t... (Below threshold)
mantis:

What is more likely here, that Moore sent the check anonymously, and then had someone leak that fact to the NY Daily News gossip column, or that Kenefick, who wrote about this extensively, including his suspicion that Moore was behind the money, going so far as to track down the bank that issued the check and whether there were locations near Moore's home, and thus got enough attention that the NY Daily News gossip people decided to investigate themselves and confirmed it?

My guess is that if Kenefick had never said anything about his suspicions, we would never know that Moore was behind it (if, in fact, he is; I don't necessarily trust the NY Daily News gossip column). Moore is not commenting on it. And if he was just trying to get publicity for Sicko, which he is getting in spades anyway (Fox News gave it a good review, the Cuba thing, Cannes), why would he pick some blogger no one has heard of, and wouldn't he be trying to milk this thing rather than avoid it?

Quoting Kenefick:

"If it was you, Mikey...your $12,000 doesn't buy my silence. It won't buy my affection, nor will I shy away from talking about whatever may or may not be in your new film. I'll still be the same guy, expressing my opinion and trying his best to research facts you tend to skip over or ignore. All you bought for your money - if it was yours - was the peace of mind of knowing you actually helped someone who needed it."

And I'll bet that's all Moore wanted. What an asshole this Kenefick guy is.

I am pretty certain that Mi... (Below threshold)
George:

I am pretty certain that Michael Moore has bragged that he does not take tax deductions (being the selfless taxpayer that he is, you know). It sounds like he is taking a deduction for this.

And you know what Jay?... (Below threshold)
mantis:

And you know what Jay?

But instead, he's out twelve grand and ended up looking like the asshole he is. Jim, meanwhile, has come out the winner: his wife's insurance coverage was continued, he has fresh affirmation of the scumminess of his chosen target, and now knows just how much he's getting under Moore's skin.

You're an asshole too.

Actually, Moore put the Ken... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Actually, Moore put the Kennefick pay off into Sicko, as part of the closer. It was part of the plan all along, it would seem. Then Moore/his camp leaked the details to the press just before showing the film at the Cannes festival.

IMO, Moore was looking for a threefer:
1) Get free press for his film
2) Make a point in the film about healthcare AND look like a wonderful saintly kinda guy
3) Get one of his most vocal and relentless
critics to STFU

Kennefick didn't play along, and took 2-3 of the above out of the running. The Moore-ites will still see him as great St. Mike, but they would no matter what is really going on.

I don't know if your accoun... (Below threshold)
89:

I don't know if your account is entirely accurate, Jay Tea. He only published that he had received money from an anonymous donor who could be Michael Moore after he got a tip that the donation would be pulisised in Sicko.

Right?

And the primary reason for finding out which bank the money came from was to avoid being check frauded. (Given a check, spending money, check bounces, ooops.)

Kennefick actually mostly a... (Below threshold)
89:

Kennefick actually mostly agrees that the US health care system sucks, but he doesn't agree that Canada and Cuba has it any better. Especially Cuba.

M Moore talking about healt... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

M Moore talking about health care is akin to John Edwards talking about poverty(since dimmies here were too STOOPID to understand the Manute Bol reference.). Here is a 350+ pound hateful obese slob. Who knows what bad things are going on inside him, but if we paid health insurance rates by level of risks(which I beleive we NEED to do), he'd be paying top rates. Americans eat worse and more than ever, exercise less than ever, smoke, drink, etc etc

If one takes care of themselves, eats the right foods in correct proportions, exercises, etc, they can greatly reduce their risk of major problems later on in life.

I had a grandmother live to97, my 82 yr old mom walked 4 miles with me in 80 minutes 2 months ago down in FL, and is about 10 lbs over her HS weight.

People can cry all they want about health care coverage, and insurance costs, but great health care BEGINS with how you treat your body.

If you need insurance, buy it. Dont blame someone else. Whats next, we'll blame the fed govt because car insurance, or homeowners insurance is up?

Gianni: First I read your p... (Below threshold)
89:

Gianni: First I read your post as another "Ha ha Michael Moore is fat". But then a point dawned on me: Different insurance rates would kind of impose economic pressure on people to live healthier, right? So in a fully socialist system, would you be arrested and forced on a diet?

Look out for Cuban agents, Michael!

More likely the same thing happens as in an insurance system: They make you pay more.

Alternatively, they put extra taxes on fat, sugar, comfy chairs, or anything else that is fattening.

Look, I think Moore is abou... (Below threshold)

Look, I think Moore is about the most complete idiot out there. But I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to his motives in giving Jim $12K. Though Hitler loved his dog, should we change our opinion of him for that reason? Of course not.

JimK accepted the money and seems bitter about it. I can understand that, so I'm conflicted because I understand being in a predicament dire enough that it would be fool hardy not to accept help even from someone I have no respect for. With the history these two have, I don't blame Jim for being suspicious of Moore's motives. The timing is too pat. But at the same time I think he could have been more gracious about it and still held to his principles.

89,car ins is high... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

89,

car ins is higher on an accord than on a maxima, which is 1 reason I chose the latter. Ins costs were also factored into our buying decision for family SUV, and wife's car.

homeonwners (and taxes) in PA depends on where you are. Higher risk = higher cost. Why should health ins be any different? Sure, individual plans get 'rated' but group plans dont, as far as I know.

Why should a bacon cheeseburger and fry eating fat slob pay the exact same rate on health ins as a health conscious guy who eats oatmeal, fruit, veggies, swims, etc?

higher risk would bring higher cost, and maybe, ifjust maybe that will incent a few to pay off extra value meals.

The fact that so few actually paid their own health ins for so long has led us to where we are. I think health benefits should never be paid for by the company, company can just pay employee an extra 4100 a week, or whatever. I think that all health providers need to offer a single price on a procedure, not, 10k if you pay cash, 6k for aetna, 5.5k for blue cross, etc

M Moore talking about he... (Below threshold)
jim:

M Moore talking about health care is akin to John Edwards talking about poverty...Here is a 350+ pound hateful obese slob....

People can cry all they want about health care coverage, and insurance costs, but great health care BEGINS with how you treat your body.

If what Moore was arguing was how bad it is to be fat, then you might have a point.

But what Moore is arguing about is how bad the health care system is, for Americans who develop health problems *which aren't their fault*.

Two of these problems which occur are a) car accidents - which are not necessarily the injured's fault; and b) sicknesses resulting from honest people being lied to.

This last part is especially terrible - the NY workers who worked selflessly to clear the WTC rubble, and developed horrible conditions when they kept working *after* they were *lied to* by the US government.

Doesn't that bother you?

The US government lied to them and told them there was a low health risk at the WTC area. These workers damaged their health trying to help. Now on top of it they're getting screwed out of health care.

Isn't that bad? Doesn't that bother you?

If you need insurance, buy it. Dont blame someone else.

Gianni, one of the biggest problems with the US health care 'system' is that working families which DO buy health insurance get screwed anyway.

Does that bother you?

I refer you to the report I posted upstream.

Sometimes bad things happen to people which aren't their fault. When this happens, and there's something that could be done about it, I say we should.

Also, Jeff, I would like... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Also, Jeff, I would like to address this fallacy that our only options are socialism OR getting reamed by insurance companies.

We could actually cap insurance premiums, for instance. We could regulate the market.

ahem. Not very bright are you?

Economics is not witchcraft. Costs do not decline because you "so mote it be."

Health insurance is a 100-y... (Below threshold)

Health insurance is a 100-year warranty on a product that WILL break, irreparably, at some point during that 100 years.

The ONLY way this can be paid for by a society which expects to be productive is that the average of all incomes exceeds the average of all expenses, including the cost of health care.

If the people aren't willing to produce more than they consume, they are on the public dole, regardless of whether they take home a paycheck or get one from the government (read: our tax money).

I work in insurance. When people have a history of losses, their rates go up because it's likely that they'll have another one again. But people think of insurance as a kind of savings account: money goes in, but unless they have a loss, they'll never see it again. It's actually more like giving to a private charity that you might need someday: your premiums are invested, and the interest on those investments pays for everyones' losses (and pay the bills of the people who administer the insurance).

Privatization of Social Security caused such a ruckus. "It's a gamble on the Stock Market," they said, "they're playing craps with our retirement money." But the other method, collecting and then paying it right back, generates NO interest, and costs more in the long run. The same would happen with socialized health care.

JimK provides not a single ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

JimK provides not a single fact to support his "suspicions" of Moore's motives. He on his own sought out the donor, on his own came up with the idea about being "gotcha'd", on his own suggested Moore can write it off, and on his own came up with his rationale for why he can still take the money with a clear conscience.

You already have people in this thread taking JimK's "suspicions" and treating them as proven facts, including:

"Moore, it seems, was angling for boatload of positive publicity"

"If Moore had, indeed, intended it as an act of charity, then all he had to do was say nothing" (That's exactly what he did. The column that revealed the donor even said "Moore didn't contact us. We heard it on our own.")

"you're completely dishonest when you try to buy off your critics"

"It sounds like he is taking a deduction for this."

"He only published that he had received money from an anonymous donor who could be Michael Moore after he got a tip that the donation would be pulisised in Sicko. Right?" (Wrong. Read Jay's "and took the money anyway" link.)

None of these thoughts are borne out by what actually happened, even in JimK's own words. Now, it may very well be that Moore is planning all that JimK says. But until the day that assumption is proven, all JimK should be saying is "If it is him, then I thank him for the money, and I hope that he doesn't turn this into some cheap stunt." And then attack him for it if he does.

But right now, JimK just comes off looking like a conspiracy theorist.

I trust M Moore no further ... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

I trust M Moore no further than I could throw his lard ass.(or edwards, or kennedy schumer, biden, pelosi, reid, difi, jefferson, or any of the other corrupt hypocritical libs).

Ive 'NEVER' had a issue with poor health care, not with me, my wife or kids, my parents, etc. My mom is on dialysis, which is always ripe for problems. I made sure people knew from week 1 Id be stopping in to check on her, and Id ask questions all the time. They knew they had to be accountable. NEVER a problem in over 4 yrs. 1 dr didnt want to answer questions, so after 12 days of avoidance, I started emailing and faxing everyone I could in that hospital and after less than 14 hrs, I got a sitdown, with that dr, and an admin.


yeah yeah yeah, the big bad us govt. Do people ever take personal responsibility?

My cousin was up there at WTC, by 9 pm 9/12, he works for Army Corps of Engineers, and from minute 1, he made sure to wear the appropriate respirator. Common Sense. Building built in early 70's(I believe) come crashing down, sure, there is a great danger. common sense isnt so common I guess.

As long as we have people like Ray Nagin in positions of power, its easier for many to play victim, than to take personal responsibility.

US is one of the unhealthiest nations in the world. They want docs to fix them up like humpty dumpty after yrs of neglect. Mistakes happen in all businesses, but, people like John Channel Edwards have docs playing defense during course of medical treatment, because they are afraid of being sued.

Malpractice rates in PA are some of the highest in the nation. How does this help healthcare? Many of my clients are attys, almost as many are docs, and though I love the attys, I side with the docs most times on the malpractice/PI issue.

Asking fed govt to handle health insurance is one of the STOOOPIDest things ive ever heard. There are 100's, 1000' of stories of socialized medicine failing people. Most ppl just want something for nothing, and sadly, what you get most times is worth what you pay for it.


What a whinny little baby. ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

What a whinny little baby. Jim knew this was a possible setup yet he took the money anyways, and now he is complaining?

You don't like it then give the money back.

Blue, great post.t... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

Blue, great post.

the fed govt has F'd up Soc Sec royally, and the left refuses to even consider that there is a problem, even though this insolvency is way more 'settled science' than normal climatic changes some of making millions from? These same ppl want the fed govt to handle all health care?? LOL

Does any successful self reliant person want the fed govt to handle health insurance? The rich (D) politicians all refuse to send their kids to DC public schools,(forget they are all against school vouchers) so when Klinton, Carter, etc need a major operation some day down the road, lets put them on a waiting list, like they'd have in the UK, canada, etc.

Once a prominent and financially able person chooses to wait 18 months for a bypass, rather than pay for it himself somewhere else, than we can discuss socialized medicine. Like waiting for 2 Sens from Mass opting to pay extra taxes, I think this will be a very long time coming.

Illegal immigration is the ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Illegal immigration is the main reason healthcare costs have gone up. The illegals use the emergency rooms as their doctors visits for flu, and other minor ailments. The hospitals then carry the debt, raise their costs to try to break even. Also, non illegals use the system the same way. In Houston, walk ins to the emergency room will cost $100.00 just to be seen. Up front money. ww

40-Year Old Memory Lapse Al... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

40-Year Old Memory Lapse Alert: What's the "Golden Oldie"?

(Your wheels, right, Jay? If so, I'm sure one of your detractors would happily donate money to the hybrid of your choosing.)

I think it was a bad move o... (Below threshold)
Farmer Joe:

I think it was a bad move on Jim's part to take the money. It kind of taints anything he might say about Moore. On the other hand I can understand why he did it.

Now, if Moore REALLY wanted to come off like a class act, he could come out and say, "Yes, it was me who gave him the money. It was a personal gesture, from one man to another, and I don't expect Jim to do anything, or to stop doing anything because of it." And then never say anything about it at all.

Will he do that? I kind of doubt it.

"Like they'd have in the UK... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"Like they'd have in the UK, canada, etc."

Gianni, what a phony argument. Are you saying the great USofA is no better, smarter or richer than the UK?

Why do you hate America so much?

WW-all the more re... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

WW-

all the more reason to deport all 'crimmigrants'.

My grandparents waited for YEARS to be able to come here legally. How much faith should we have in people whose very first act on US soil is a felony? Besides VT judges, does anyone else want to give felons multiple chances? Ask the families of 2 teen girls from VA Beach how they feel.

Make people pay for their own healthcare, dont require a private business to offer their 'service' if they cant get paid for it, deport illegals, and higher premiums for higher risks.

I don't think taking the mo... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I don't think taking the money taints JimK or his future comments about Moore. He can certainly say "I appreciate and thank Michael for the money, but as I'm sure Michael would agree, I cannot and will not allow it to influence my opinions or actions when I disagree with him on the merits of his positions."

Now, if Moore REALLY wanted to come off like a class act, he could come out and say

I don't get it. Moore made an anonymous gift and didn't say a word. Then someone else went digging and started flinging wholly unsupported accusations at him. And now you're saying Moore only looks classy if he breaks his silence, stands up, and tells JimK that his paranoid fantasies are full of sh*t?

Illegal immigration is t... (Below threshold)
jim:

Illegal immigration is the main reason healthcare costs have gone up.

No, actually, that's not true. It is in fact contradictory to all impartial reports and studies I've seen.

That's a factor in costs, but the main factor which is crushing working families of US citizens is health insurance costs. Which have skyrocketed past any increased expenses in the US health care system, including illegal immigration, malpractice costs, or any other costs.

I'm happy to be proven wrong, if you can cite a study; I'm just saying it's wrong according to all the facts I know of.

Gianni, did you even read t... (Below threshold)
jim:

Gianni, did you even read the study I linked to upstream? I'll post it again:

http://www.nchc.org/facts/cost.shtml

"A recent study by Harvard University researchers found that the average out-of-pocket medical debt for those who filed for bankruptcy was $12,000. The study noted that 68 percent of those who filed for bankruptcy had health insurance. In addition, the study found that 50 percent of all bankruptcy filings were partly the result of medical expenses (14). Every 30 seconds in the United States someone files for bankruptcy in the aftermath of a serious health problem."

This means that these are fully legal American citizens who don't have prior problems, are fully covered for health risks, and are still getting screwed.

US health costs have very little to do with illegals, or with people who aren't taking care of themselves. It is almost all related to insurance companies being able to charge whatever they want, AND make decisions about the insured's health care when they are not medical professionals.

I think that's wrong.

Do you think that's wrong? Yes or no?

My cousin was up there a... (Below threshold)
jim:

My cousin was up there at WTC, by 9 pm 9/12, he works for Army Corps of Engineers, and from minute 1, he made sure to wear the appropriate respirator. Common Sense. Building built in early 70's(I believe) come crashing down, sure, there is a great danger. common sense isnt so common I guess.

Your cousin is an experienced engineer. Some people working there were not. They were just there trying to help. They were naive enough to believe the government - and the government lied to them. And now they're having trouble getting health care on top of it.

I think that it's wrong for the government to lie to people. Do you think that it's wrong? Yes or no?

Do you think that people who lie to other people should be held accountable? Yes or no?

What, Jeff - I must not be ... (Below threshold)
jim:

What, Jeff - I must not be bright because I disagree with you?

Interesting theory, but I must say your logic is not that convincing. You could try, I don't know, actual facts and reasoning next time instead. Just a thought.

In the meantime, here's some logic and reason for you:

http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/hepg/Papers/Norsworthy.incen.reg.quality.service.11.Dec.03.pdf

It's about price caps that work.

I'll also point out that every time the energy industry is deregulated, prices increase while service decreases. Enron in California is a perfect example.

You see, when someone has a service that someone needs to live, and they can charge whatever they want for it, price gouging results. This is true whether the product is electricity or health care.

If you have actual facts and arguments to disprove this, I'd love to hear them. Please post them.

Here's some malpractice cos... (Below threshold)
jim:

Here's some malpractice costs debunking, as well:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/07/business/07insure.html?ex=1278388800&en=d612d8f3ea657b7d&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

http://www.boston.com/business/globe/articles/2005/06/01/rising_doctors_premiums_not_due_to_lawsuit_awards/

The upshot:

"Researchers found that payments grew an average of 4 percent annually during the years covered by the study, or 52 percent overall since 1991, but only 1.6 percent a year since 2000. The increases are roughly equivalent to the overall rise in healthcare costs...Meanwhile, malpractice insurance premiums for internists, general surgeons, and obstetricians have skyrocketed since 2000, jumping 20 to 25 percent in 2002 alone."

So, Gianni, please read that and understand it.

I have got to agree with oy... (Below threshold)
epador:

I have got to agree with oyster on this one.

No thread hijacking here - health care system woes not the topic.

First the Shaggin' Wagon, now the Golden Oldie. Time to pick an IMPORT!

The reason this incident st... (Below threshold)

The reason this incident sticks in the craw of conservatives is simple.

From Michael Moore's past films, and their decidedly collectivist slant, one can easily deduce that he will not, in his upcoming film Sicko, make the distinction between this anonymous act of charity of a private individual who chose to give the money, and the bureaucratic disbursement of funds gathered by mandatory taxation.

Notice, too, that in this private act of charity, not ONE DIME went to a bureaucrat; 100% of the funds went to the intended recipient, JimK's life is improved without any paperwork hassle, he spent the money in the most efficient manner, and Mr. Moore even gets to claim a tax break. Everyone wins. You can figure out the contrasting scenario with socialized medicine yourself.

There are two conservative issues here illustrated: the rich can choose to give to the poor without a Robin Hood robbing them, and the food costs of a band of Merry Men are a burden on the rich and poor alike.

Ditto epador,I agr... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Ditto epador,

I agree pretty much with Oyster's and Brian's sentiments. Be gracious and say thanks. Jim could always respond later to a Moore offensive on the subject if one is ever forthcoming. Anything else is just speculation.

This reminds me in some respects of a Rush Limbaugh episode that happened years ago. Rush pledged a significant sum of money to help children with aids (if memory serves). The charity involved promptly refused to take Rush's money because it was "tainted," choosing instead to make a political statement out of it. They should have graciously accepted the money. Were they trying to help kids or not?

HEY!!!...who gives a rats A... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

HEY!!!...who gives a rats ASS about Mikey (NO) MOORE and his propaganda flicks???!!!!

If he gave money for a deceptive or sincere reason, oh well. He still and always will be a moonbat with an agenda....
WHAT I wanna KNOW is.....

WHO IS GONNA BUY....JAY T. ---- SOMETHING!!!
lol

On the subject of "Quality ... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

On the subject of "Quality of Mercy" ..
I wish that the child of Mary Cheney and her Lesbian partner be able to raise their wonderful child in an America free of debasing hate. I am sure all here support our Vice President in saying
forget the hate mongers and know that your daughter will be a wonderful mother..and her baby..is as wonderful and special..
...and to those pitiful people..whose own deficiencies..require them to condemn loving parents who share the same sex? I have nothing to say..

I don't get it. Mo... (Below threshold)
JimK:
I don't get it. Moore made an anonymous gift and didn't say a word. Then someone else went digging and started flinging wholly unsupported accusations at him. And now you're saying Moore only looks classy if he breaks his silence, stands up, and tells JimK that his paranoid fantasies are full of sh*t?

You are 100% wrong, Brian. It'd be nice if you read any of the links Jay provided. You know, before you run your mouth and judge me.

HE. PUT. IT. IN. THE. MOVIE. The movie was just shown at Cannes this past Saturday. Tell me again about paranoid fantasies?

You can apologize to me any time you're ready.

Jim could always r... (Below threshold)
JimK:
Jim could always respond later to a Moore offensive on the subject if one is ever forthcoming. Anything else is just speculation.

Jeff, Moore put this in the film. He used it in the film and called me AFTER the screening to tell me.

So, yeah. He's already used it. It's NOT speculation.

How did Moore end up lookin... (Below threshold)

How did Moore end up looking like an asshole? He gave some jerk $12,000. Without wanting his identity revealed. It seems to me the recipient who TOOK THE MONEY is the asshole. Shit, you people will never give up.

Just keep it up, some day you'll get cancer and you'll die sooner rather than later because you can't afford those cutting edge drugs that Tony Snow is pumpted full of due to the fact that he's a rich fucker and you're not.

Jim,Where do I sta... (Below threshold)
Greg:

Jim,

Where do I start? Let's see, I'll starthere:

Most states have an add on to hospital claims that is charged to cover unisured patients that show up at area hospitals, so there already is some socialized health care in the US.

Also, inusrance premiums rise due to increased utilization of the benefits offered. Because of this thing called "competition", insurance carriers cannot just raise rates and expect their clients to stay with them. There is also this thing called "anti-trust" so the various carriers cannot collude to set prices.

HMO plans turned out to be a quick fix that back fired. Copay plans hid ther true cost of health care so peoploe now think that they shold be able to go to the doctor for $10 and get a prescription for $10 or $20, depending on generic or brand designation. Doesn't happen in the private sector. By the way, ever hear of TennCare? Wikepedia it and then tell me how you aregoing to regulate a socialized system.

Finally, about $.82 to $.85 of every dollar in the private sector goes to providers. Take a look at NY State's Medicaid plan. They have any where from $4 billion to $18 billion in fraud on $42 billion in premium. You don't get anywhere near this kind of theft when you have a profit motive.

Moore misses the boat with his propoganda. By the way, if Cuba's HC system is so good, how come old Fidel needed to import a Spanish doctor for his latest illness?

Michael Morre is a fat idio... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Michael Morre is a fat idiot..
All real Americans realize our health care is cheap...and..considering that R&D for Pharmas is so significant...only moonbats would whine about medical costs..
I don't know about your bills..but my medical care has gone down...

Just keep it up, s... (Below threshold)
Just keep it up, some day you'll get cancer and you'll die sooner rather than later because you can't afford those cutting edge drugs that Tony Snow is pumpted full of due to the fact that he's a rich fucker and you're not. Posted by: Shelly at May 24, 2007 08:31 PM

Preach on party of hate...preach on.

George Bush and Dick Cheney... (Below threshold)
Dirk:

George Bush and Dick Cheney give approximately 10 times as much to charity as Michael Moore does and yet I never hear one lefty thank either of them for it. So why should I care what Moore does?

JimK,I stand corre... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

JimK,

I stand corrected. I did read some of your posts but it was not clear to me that this was in the movie. I only read where someone leaked it to a newspaper. I am glad you got some assistance out of the deal.

Greg,Didn't you re... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Greg,

Didn't you read jim's posts? He doesn't want socialized medicine, only government imposed caps and managed markets. That's completely different. ;)

Didn't you read ji... (Below threshold)
JimK:
Didn't you read jim's posts? He doesn't want socialized medicine, only government imposed caps and managed markets. That's completely different. ;)

You bastard. :) Actually, I just don't know what I want as a solution. The idea of government oversight makes my skin crawl. But the idea of an unchecked profit-hungry company managing my health also scares the crap out of me.

I know this much for sure: a nationalized, government-run health service would be a complete and total disaster, financially and for our health as a nation. beyond that...I just don't know what to do.

All you screw Michael Moore... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

All you screw Michael Moore folks...
Do you respect and believe that same sex parents(Cheney and Lesbian Partner)can raise a child like all other couples?

...yes this is connected..

After all..don't you believe that MM would approve?

JimK,Tat wasn't di... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

JimK,

Tat wasn't directed at you, but the other jim - unless you are one in the same? This is a little confusing.

Oh! Sorry. No, that's not... (Below threshold)
JimK:

Oh! Sorry. No, that's not me. My bad!

Uh no go did you say someth... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Uh no go did you say something?

Back in high school, in Eng... (Below threshold)
KendraWilder:

Back in high school, in English Lit class, each of us had to memorize and perform a speech from one of Shakespeare's classics. My assignment was Portia's speech from The Merchant of Venice.

I've spent the rest of my life, 45 years since, trying desperately to erase even the first line of that speech out of my head.

Thanks for the memories, Jay. ;-B

Jim, I know healthcare insu... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Jim, I know healthcare insurance costs are up. They are up because hospital costs are skyrocketing because of the bad debt they are required to carry. If hospitals double or triple their operating costs, then insurance companies will have to raise rates and lower coverage. That is why every procedure now has to be pre-approved before it can happen, regardless what the doctor says. Follow the money. In this case, where the money is being lost. You don't need a study to figure this out. I have worked for hospital systems for 20 years and am very involved in the budgeting process. Hospitals lose a lot of money each year because of the emergency rooms. If you noticed, you can see a lot of healthcare facilities that offer only outpatient procedures or elective surgeries. No emergency rooms. ww

mantis you're going to have... (Below threshold)
Paul:

mantis you're going to have to wipe the brown off your nose...

Come on dude, I know you like the dude and all but geeze a 4th grader could see this was a set-up from jump.

You know I have no tolerance for willfully stupid people.

Don't be that guy.

It'd be nice if you read... (Below threshold)
Brian:

It'd be nice if you read any of the links Jay provided. You know, before you run your mouth and judge me. HE. PUT. IT. IN. THE. MOVIE.

Yes I did, and I just read them again. Please point out where you said he put it in the movie.

There's nothing wrong with ... (Below threshold)
rtl:

There's nothing wrong with our medical care. It's a matter of how to pay for it. And doing that without ruining said healthcare AND destroying our basic rights. In Cuba, you can't exactly sue anyone for malpractice, which - one study notwithstanding - obviously is a huge reason for increased costs. Witness doctors leaving certain states and indirect costs which that study doesn't cover. Moore's whole premise is a joke, but those who want to empower the government to make our daily decisions are all too happy to avoid such obvious pitfalls. Funny how the people who freak out about 1/100 of 1% of the popluation potentially being affected by the Patriot Act are so completely willing to turn the entire health care system over to the very same government it doesn't trust. Pure insanity.




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