Trying to Figure Out the Obamacare Case? Let's Ask a Cuba Apologist!


Seriously, check out Andrea Mitchell, reporting from the Pope's visit to Cuba:

We're seeing this debate in our country about universal health care, the mandate, the Supreme Court arguments today. We have univeral coverage here—of course, it's a very different society, and an economic model that would not work in the United States. What do you see as the advantages of the Cuban system….

Granted, the last time I was in Cuba was just after the previous Pope had been there, but what struck me about the Cuban health care system then was that the average Cuban (quite unlike the visiting 2nd-world dignitary, or rich Western medical tourist), did not have any access to aspirin, even at those vaunted health clinics. You could reduce a Cuban mother to grateful sobs by bearing the gift of rubbing alcohol. What the system had in droves was doctors and nurses (especially helpful if you were a foreigner who needed a lot of physical therapy). What it didn't have was, you know, medicine. And supplies. And any patient-side input into care.

H/T Michael C. Moynihan.

NEXT: Ronald Bailey on Conservatives Against Consumption

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  1. Wow, check out that awesome green screen monitor. Now that’s health care… from 30 years ago.

  2. “Wherever there is a jackboot stomping on a human face there will be a well-heeled Western liberal to explain that the face does, after all, enjoy free health care and 100 percent literacy.”
    ? John Derbyshire

    1. Watch out with that Derbyshire stuff. He’s a race realist, y’know.

      1. He’s a race realist, y’know.

        Not sure what that means; I just like the quote.

        1. I think it is something that racist assholes use to justify their bigotry. “We’re not racist, we’re just racial realists”.

          1. Even though science and all the evidence back up what they say, they are still assholes.

            1. Much like science backs up IDiots?

          2. It’s probably people who use facts. Facts is racist!

      2. A true racial realist would encourage interracial marriage and sexual relations that lead to offspring. The advantages of hybrids make for a more vigorous human race.

        1. Derbyshire is married to a Chinese woman.

        2. Race realists tend to focus heavily on intelligence and therefore see little merit in hybridizing “down.”

          1. I don’t agree with all of what he said, but Derbyshire’s book We Are Doomed was quite good.

            The chapter where he points out the giant unspoken truth that when people say “good schools” they mean “white schools” is very good indeed.

            I mean, I’m sorry of this makes me an awful mean terrible racist, but it’s simply factual that if you could choose between putting your kid in a school that’s 80% white versus 80% black, you’re probably going to choose the majority white one. I don’t think it’s racist to point that out and discuss why this is so. I think it’s unfair to imply or state that someone is a racist because they actually think and write about racial issues.

            1. I think it’s unfair to imply or state that someone is a racist because they actually think and write about racial issues.

              I think you mean the opposite.

              Unfortunately for the good of public discourse, even noticing group differences in performance on intelligence tests is enough to get one labeled a racist, unless you immediately smother any such observation with qualifications about the deleterious effects of poverty, discrimination, etc.

              1. Oops, sorry. After reading a little less hastily, I see that you do mean what you said.

                (Damn trying to respond at work.)

              2. But even that said, we spend about a sixth of our schooling years in school, and we only start that five years or so after birth. So much of the difference can be ascribed to environment. And environments couldn’t be more different.

                I don’t really know how to make claims about innate intelligence because in my experience the level of preparedness and parent engagement is so enormously different. I suspect the influence genetics on intelligence is more important than we pretend.

                When I tutored kids in high school, which was two or so times a week at an inner-city school, they were kids who didn’t have a book in their house until kindergarten forced one on them. Even the ones with stable family environments had complete parental disengagement.

                I don’t know whether it’s more racist to say it’s a problem of culture or genetics or both, but culture differences are huge.

                1. The environment question has been (and continues to be) researched heavily. So far, the hypothesis that the nurture side is mostly to blame has not held up.

                  1. Can you post a link to that assertion

  3. A major network would do this?

    1. A major network would do this?

      Remember Ejercito: “It’s not the substance that counts, it’s the intent that’s paramount.”

      Fellow travelers and such. Results doing exactly what it says on the tin is ancillary. Even coincidental, I daresay.

      1. Communism, it just works!

  4. Matt, communism started working in Cuba right after you left. One fewer hoarder/waster was the tipping point.

    1. “wrecker”

  5. “You really do have universal health care – free.”

    “…done on a shoe string.”

    So which is it, blondie?

    1. Castro: “Here comrade, have some free healthcare”

      *extends hand*

      Citizen: “But there’s nothing in your hand”

      Castro: “But it’s free!”

  6. everyone knows bushitler denied insurance coverage for the 9/11 first responders, so they went to cuba for treatment…und cigars rolled on the thighs on nubian babes
    >viva la revolucion !!1!11

    1. wait – dont forget those sweet 57 chevys o3.

      1. thx
        plus 57 chevys get teh babes

      2. I hear the new Packards are in!

    2. I don’t know how many Nubians made it to Cuba. Nubile Cuban women, there are plenty of them.

      1. So, the link has pictures of nubians, but nothing for nubile – what a rip.

        1. I try to be SFW. Besides, anything I posted would ignite the John/sarcasmic preferred body-type war.

          1. Yes but the collateral damage from those wars are pictures of hot women.

        2. [stands] What’s a nubian?

      2. Whats a Nubian?

  7. Gosh, I wish we could be rich and free like Cubans!

    1. We’re getting there. Just wait.

      1. Don’t get my hopes up!

        1. Just you wait, you ungrateful fucking crackers… you’ll get what’s coming to you.

    2. try shoving a fat rush-like cigar up ur ass for a start mmmkay

      1. Your personal pasttimes are none of our business.

  8. I submit that we should henceforth call posts like these snark bait.

    1. Snarkerbation.

      1. Snarksturbation.

        1. Yeah, that’s better.

    2. Jumping the snark.

      1. You would, you Sharkopheliac.

    3. Snarktemkin Village.

    4. I think I just had a sargasm.

      1. That is sarctastic!

      2. You sure it wasn’t a snargasm?

        1. touche

  9. “We shouldn’t underemphasize the infrastructure problems, the impact of the embargo-”

    The destructive impact of Communism, you fucking idiot.

    1. Yes, that’s absolutely right. While I think the embargo at this point is silly, it’s not why Cuba has a wrecked economy.

      1. But it has been, is, and shall forever be the boogeyman. Which is why it must end.

      2. They do trade with Europe, don’t they? I mean, is there some magical good that only we can provide and Europe can’t? Or China, even – that’s we get all our shit.

        1. And the whole rest of the world, I believe. Including the rest of the Western Hemisphere.

        2. ” I mean, is there some magical good that only we can provide and Europe can’t?”

          American Exceptionalism?

          1. Would you buy that right now?

            1. Yes. Yes I would. Granted it has become a boutique item these days instead of being available everywhere like it was when I was a kid.

            2. I’d buy that for a dollar!

              A Canadian or Australian dollar, to be clear…

              1. But a Canadian Dollar is worth more than an American Dollar.


      3. While I think the embargo at this point is silly, it’s not why Cuba has a wrecked economy.

        They trade with Canada, South America, Europe. The embargo imposes some costs, but if Cuba had an actual economy, the effect would be marginal.

        1. Or what RC Dean said.

          1. Tell Castro this:

            We’ll not only lift the embargo, we’ll send shitloads of business your way – IF you allow your people to have a ballot with more than one name on it.

            Blanket-leaflet that to the Cuban people, while we’re at it.

            Then, maybe, chute-drop some guns…

  10. There are no external restrictions on Cuba trading with the rest of the world, AFAIK. That leaves 85% of the world for Cuba to trade with.

    I really don’t see how the US embargo can be blamed for much of anything. It would be like saying GM went bankrupt because it couldn’t sell cars in California.

    1. Maybe because the US is a major exporter of medical supplies and equipment?
      Just a guess.

      1. At worst, if Cuba can’t buy an alternative from someone else, our exports can come in through another country. And do, I’m sure.

        1. our exports can come in through another country

          They’re not supposed to.

          And do, I’m sure.

          Of course they do. Laws are not magic. But I’m sure there are federal employees with armed men at their beck and call whose sole job is to prevent our exports from entering Cuba via a third party.

          1. Let me be clear. Not for much longer. It isn’t fair that only the USA has disposable syringes.

      2. “Maybe because the US is a major exporter of medical supplies and equipment?
        Just a guess.”

        Guess again.….._companies

        1. This may come as a surprise, but there is more to medical supplies and equipment than simply pharmaceuticals.

          But considering you’re just a bitchy little troll, I’m not surprised.

          1. One of the specific problems mentioned in the article is a lack of access to aspirin. Which indicates it’s not a problem with the embargo, it’s a problem with poverty.

            1. Or a problem with child proof bottle tops.

            2. What nonsense. Obviously Cubans don’t have access to aspirin and rubbing alcohol because the Cuban State hasn’t established a right to those things yet. Once they do, the products will magically appear in great abundance.

      3. Yes, that evil American conglomerate Bayer is denying them access to aspirin.

        1. Wir sindt [words for ‘not guilty’ in German]!!

        2. Kraut-American.

  11. And to think she’s married to a guy who used to be an Objectivist inner-circle dude.

    1. She married him because she knew he was so old and feeble that he would leave her alone. Do you think she is gonna hang around when he gets senile and starts drooling?

  12. As soon as I saw a Cuba post, I thought “hey, is Moynihan back?”

    He sure hates him some Cuba. Bless.

  13. Basically, everything that’s wrong with Cuba is our fault, and everything that’s right (house calls, wow!) is due to the great Cuban ethic of humanitarianism.

  14. An odd fact about Andrea Mitchell: she’s married to Alan Greenspan.

    1. An odd fact about Alan Greenspan: He’s not remotely a believer in free markets.

  15. Honestly looking to Cuba (a small island nation) for healthcare answers for the United States (a huge nation with a diversity of problems and governments) isn’t practical. Canada would be a much better example.

    1. Canada has approximately the same population as Texas. I’m not sure Canada would work as a model for the California state system, much less a national one.

      Unless that was more snark, in which case, rock on.

      1. Just under 26 for Texas, and about 33.5 for Canada (2011 figures). So much land, so few people, eh? Annexation, anybody?

        1. Just leave Vancouver. The last thing the US needs is one more hipster douchebag enclave.

        2. And the vast majority of them are within 50 miles of the border. We wouldn’t even have to drive very far!

          Which is a good thing, considering what gas prices are these days.

    2. Canada would be a much better example.

      I don’t think driving across the southern border to get quicker access to medical care is an option for the US.

      1. When I lived in San Antonio (and lacked dental insurance) I used to go to Mexico for the dentist. Dentists since then have marvelled at the fantastic job done providing a filling on one molar. “That is beautiful work!”

      2. Define “medical care”.

        1. LOL. Probably not involving tattoos or stress relief.

          Though actually I do know some folks who go on antibiotic shopping sprees south of the border every once in a while.

  16. Honestly looking to Cuba (a small island nation) for healthcare answers for the United States (a huge nation with a diversity of problems and governments) isn’t practical. Canada would be a much better example.

    1. Canada has fewer people than California alone.

  17. actually france
    plus fries und mayo

  18. You could reduce a Cuban mother to grateful sobs by bearing the gift of rubbing alcohol.

    lousy booze-hounds.

  19. OT: here in Ohio a law has been passed requiring schools to teach the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and the supporting writings. Care to guess who opposes this?

    1. Democrats?

      1. This is the correct answer.

        Still, I get one of their criticisms, which is that this is limited to the founding documents, and thus does not teach the entirety of the Amendments. Some important stuff happened after the Bill of Rights. And apparently some are saying the Bill of Rights isn’t included either, although I don’t know either way, but that would be stupid as the BoR was necessary to attain agreement on the Constitution.

    2. Teachers? Cops?

      Come on, CC, don’t leave us hanging.

    3. Yes CC do tell.

    4. Bengals fans?

      1. Barack Obama?

  20. As a woman once told me when I was visiting Petersburg “Everything is so expensive now, under Communism everything was affordable. Not everything was available, but it was affordable…” With no sense of the irony …

    1. This is envy. People hate going to the store and seeing shit they can’t buy, but their neighbors can. Misery loves company is a cliche, but a true one.

      1. You nailed it Mitch. Envy is the prime motivator in most of everything people do, especially politics.

    2. Sounds like the Russian version of the old joke:

      “This food is terrible! And the portions are so small!”

    3. But at least all shortages were equally distributed amongst the peasants.

  21. Yeah, government utterly fucked up healthcare and insurance, so let’s bitch about how house calls are gone and middlemen are evil child rapists and propose even more government fuck-ups to fix the previous fuck-ups.

    These pinko fucks honestly never cease to amaze me. The delusions are definitively eternal.

  22. “…did not have any access to aspirin, even at those vaunted health clinics. You could reduce a Cuban mother to grateful sobs by bearing the gift of rubbing alcohol.”

    I spent some time in various latin countries with free health care where people would go to cuba because of its superior health care. If you wanted meds you were shit-outta-luck, but if you wanted Coke or MJ you could drown yourself in it for a few bucks. Hmmm, I wonder what that says about markets?

  23. Pretty easy to have a low infant mortality rate when you encourage (force) mortality on pre-infants!

    They’re just a marvel, aren’t they?!

  24. Behindertsein ist sch?n

    1. Bundesrepublic Deutschland, motherfucker.

  25. I loved this from the video:

    You sometimes have to bring your on bed sheets to the hospital but you can get free brain surgery.

    Do you have to bring your own knives too?

    1. It’s all a bad joke

    2. Do you have to bring your own knives too?

      ….and forks. Hey, we’re not running a fucking charity in the workers paradise.

  26. Andrea Mitchell gives free health care to Fidel. If blowjobs are covered of course.

    There are many doctors and nurses in Cuba. Many are driving taxicabs because it pays better. Also, many Cuban doctors have come to the US and are working as nurses. Of course, that pays WAY better.

    1. Fidel prefers my lips to Andrea’s.

  27. Of course Cuban health care providers are focused on prevention. It’s all they can do. They don’t have the supplies to treat somebody once they get sick.

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