NY Times Super Thrilled To Extol Cuba For It’s Single Payer System

Sadly, the headline has changed, probably because it was really, really bad

You can see the original in the top of the tweet. Weird how the Times and/or Nicholas Kristoff would change it, eh?

Claudia Fernández, 29, is an accountant whose stomach bulges with her first child, a girl, who is due in April.

Fernández lives in a cramped apartment on a potholed street and can’t afford a car. She also gets by without a meaningful vote or the right to speak freely about politics. Yet the paradox of Cuba is this: Her baby appears more likely to survive than if she were born in the United States.

Cuba is poor and repressive with a dysfunctional economy, but in health care it does an impressive job that the United States could learn from. According to official statistics (about which, as we’ll see, there is some debate), the infant mortality rate in Cuba is only 4.0 deaths per 1,000 live births. In the United States, it’s 5.9.

In other words, an American infant is, by official statistics, almost 50 percent more likely to die than a Cuban infant. By my calculations, that means that 7,500 American kids die each year because we don’t have as good an infant mortality rate as Cuba reports.

How is this possible? Well, remember that it may not be. The figures should be taken with a dose of skepticism. Still, there’s no doubt that a major strength of the Cuban system is that it assures universal access. Cuba has the Medicare for All that many Americans dream about.

Right, right, all we have to do is give up our freedom to a communist dictatorship and live in squalor.

If Only We Had Communist Health Care

Like everyone I’d like to make sure that infants get the care they need. But if we’re looking for good examples to follow overseas, why turn to this “poor and repressive” country with a “dysfunctional economy” on the basis of its own claims about the success of its health-care system? Even the reported results are not as impressive as Kristof makes them seem, and it’s not clear we should trust any information coming out of the country to begin with.

And why would you look to a nation like Cuba to start with? Of course, Democrats have long held a fascination with Communist countries, and are happy to excuse all the bad things.

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15 Responses to “NY Times Super Thrilled To Extol Cuba For It’s Single Payer System”

  1. Hoss says:

    And like Cuba, I’m sure our health care system would be comprised of a system for the political class and one for the peasants.

    And yeah, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. And record-keeping’s not exactly a strong-suit of third-world countries.

  2. Jethro says:

    According to the CIA, the infant mortality rate of the US is higher than the European Union, Japan, South Korea, NZ, Canada, Australia etc, all with universal healthcare of some form or another. Most Western European nations have a rate about 1/2 the US.


    Cuba clearly emphasizes infant care and pre natal care.

  3. dachs_dude says:

    And they sure have that wage inequality thing nailed as EVERYONE makes the same crushingly low wage. Thank FSM they seized everyone’s businesses as they didn’t deserve their unearned wealth, (it was easy to do as no one had guns).
    In short, every liberal’s paradise!!

  4. MrDeLaGarzenzo says:

    Is a baby born weighing less than a pound and after only 21 weeks’ gestation actually “born?” In some countries, the answer is no, and those births would be counted as stillbirths. In the United States, on the other hand, despite these premature babies’ relatively low odds of survival, they would be considered born—thus counting toward the country’s infant mortality rates.

    Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID)—an umbrella term used to describe the deaths of approximately 3,500 infants who die every year in the U.S. with no clear cause of death. SUID is a significant contributor to the IMR in this country and these mysterious deaths continue to confound medical researchers, though there are many factors thought to contribute to SUID, from differences in sleeping positions and feeding (breastfeeding vs. formula), exposure to cigarette smoke or other drugs and timing of vaccinations have all been implicated.

    Methods of reporting change the stats drastically. However the USA still has a higher than normal Infant mortality rate given the above. One of the prevailing theories is that in the EU and other nations there is a drastic reduction in the uses of pesticides, herbacides, fertalizers, GMO and many other industrial wastes.

    Additionally in Europe and other nations food is purchased fresh and not stored on your shelves for months. This alone which is predominant in the USA means we are all injesting massive amounts if chemicals designed to keep food preserved for long periods of times. Our meat is grain fed for the most part which is treated with pesticides and fertilizers. Additionally the livestock is fed antibiotics to keep them from getting sick.

    There are a myriad of reasons other than no universal health care.

  5. Rick says:

    You would have to be an idiot to believe those infant mortality rates! Who goes to Cuba for medical care? Even the Castros went to other countries for their medical care. Plus, it’s not free! Cubans pay over half of the pitiful average monthly wage of $20.00 for ‘medical” care. Cubans have to bring their own sheets, TP, soap, towels, aspirin, food and have someone there to take care of them! Do some research and look at the hospitals regular Cubans have to use. I’m surprised any infants live.

  6. Philip says:

    Hmmm … when you break it down by race, you start to have questions that aren’t answered by this, but if I had to guess, it might have something to do with subculture differences and prevalent vices, especially when you consider the correlation with low birth weights.


  7. kilroy says:

    I’m Cuban, and I can attest that both the NYT and this article are wrong. The level of medical care is extraordinarily poor in Cuba. Hospitals lack the most essential materials, beds, linens, scrubs. Bathrooms are like Dante’s inferno. Even during the time of the billions of dollars support of the former Soviet Union, the hospitals, clinics, etc, had a level of service that nobody in the USA will never accept. It is not a matter of giving up liberty for care, there is no liberty and there is almost no care. Do not believe the Michael Moore’s documentary on Cuba’s health care. Simply ask him to go there for the next time he needs to see a doctor, and ask him to go like any simple citizen. Betcha he will not. So, if you read this, health care in Cuba is at a level of Africa, Haiti, or worse. More than 30 years ago my mother complained of abdominal pain. We manage to get the ‘best gastroenterologist’ to see her. He diagnosed a parasite and gave her a prescription. The symptoms persisted for months accompanied by constant diarrhea. To make a long story short, she had to be urgently operated with a peritonitis. The ‘parasite’ was colon cancer. She survived by the grace of God. Died last year at 92 yrs of age. We could not sue for malpractice and that ’eminent’ doctor continued misdiagnosing. True story. God bless the USA that when you need something you get it. We may not be perfect, but are way better than any socialized medicine country.

  8. jayh says:

    Cuba has a tow tier medical system.

    One for the rich, paying foreign visitors and the politicians. It is pretty good.

    Another for the common folk… it is absolutely terrible. That’s why Michael Moore was suckered, he saw the showcase hospitals, not the ones with no medicines, deteriorated, dirty buildings, and no supplies.

  9. Professor hale says:

    There are no hip replacements for old people and many cancer treatments are not available. Obviously health care is a lot cheaper if you just do a lot less of it.

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