Monday, July 16, 2007
CNN's response to Michael Moore
Thank you for all of your comments.

Please take a minute to read CNN's response to Michael Moore.
I think Dr. Gupta was out of line to claim that Moore "fudged the numbers". Moore can document every one of his numbers. True, not all of them come from the same source. Moore uses different sources in order to get the latest figures for each country. However, it is undisputed that we will spend over $7000 per year per person in the U.S., but Cuba will spend less than about $300.

That raises the question of how Cuba's infant mortality and life expectancy could possibly be anywhere near those of the U.S. and Canada.

Cuba's stats are even more remarkable considering that Cuba is only 37% white, about 11% black, and the rest mixed. The infant mortality rate for blacks in the U.S. is twice that of whites. Cuba beats us, hands down, in this regard. Why does the U.S. perform so poorly by comparison, given that we spend far more per person on health care than not only Cuba, but every other country on Earth?

Could CNN please do a story explaining Cuba's amazing statistics?

Cuba is committed, as a matter of policy, to ensuring that everyone has access to health care. Their neighborhood clinics are spartan, but there is a determination to take care of people. There, health care is a right. Here, it is a product to be sold at whatever price the market will bear.
CNN, Dr. Gupta, and Mr. Moore are nitpicking, and missing the point. We all know the present system is broken. We don't have health insurance; we have sick insurance -we only use it when we are sick.

However, just saying we need universal health care won't be enough. We need a fundamental shift in our thinking about WHAT, exactly, constitutes universal care.

As a registered nurse, here are my recommendations.

We need to place our emphasis on prevention before the fact, not procedures after the fact. We need to have our emphasis on care in the home, not care in the office or clinic, and certainly not in the hospital.

We need to increase our reimbursement to home health nurses, physical therapists, mental health practitioners, nutritionists, podiatrists, and primary care providers such as Nurse practitioners, Nurse midwives, and Physician's assistants.

We need to increase our coverage for pain clinics and hospice services. We also need to start reimbursing acupuncturists and massage therapists; stress is by far the biggest single contribution to disease in the industrial world.

We need to decrease our reimbursement to surgeons and hospitals.

Did she really say decrease payments to surgeons and hospitals?

Yes. They are expensive, inefficient, and they treat diseases, not people.

Universal coverage should include, at a minimum, annual pap smears, mammograms, and colonoscopies for the appropriate age groups. It should include annual exams for all age groups, to include routine vaccines, eye exams, cleaning of teeth, a dietary review by a nutrionist, a mental health screen for depression, gait/posture review to help prevent chronic back problems, and a podiatry exam for those at risk for falls.

An obvious no-brainer is full prenatal care for all pregnant women, and comprehensive care for all children under 5.

Screenings for the main killers, (type II diabetes, heart disease and addiction), should also be part of all annual exams.

Eliminate medicare's homebound rule as the determining factor for home nurse (and other health professional) visits: instead, home visits should be based on whether or not the visit will keep a person out of the hospital and/or return them to work.

All surgical patients should get 1-3 home visits after surgery, and should include at a minimum both nurses and physical therapists. All newborns should also have 1-3 visits.

Home visits, instead of office visits, for the elderly and those with disabilities should be routine. The equivalent of our present urgent-care clinics should be open 24/7, to take the pressure off emergency rooms.

Place a 5-year moratorium on all research funding for new pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Instead, direct the bulk of the money toward researching how to effect permanent behavior change - there is a major life-style component to the three top killers - diabetes, heart disease and addiction, as well as for many cancers. If we can implement and support the behavior changes many of the expensive drugs we currently rely on can be reduced or eliminated.

Direct the rest of the money toward better methods of pain control, and better end-of-life care.

We can no longer afford to have the bulk of our health care dollars go towards diagnostic tests, exorbinantly priced medications, and expensive end-of-life care in intensive care units.

We also no longer need the physician to be the primary provider of care - other health professionals can do it more efficiently and cheaper, with no reduction in the quality of care.

Under the fee-for-service arrangement, we proved that doctors make lousy businessmen. Under managed care, we proved that businessmen make lousy doctors.

Let's have a system that puts the patient first.

We are Americans, the most innovative and resourceful group of people on the planet. So let's stop the nitpicking, eliminate the greed, and create a system that insures health, not sickness.
I get my online news from CCN because I consider CNN to have more credibility and less bias than Those Other Cable News Guys, but in this case I feel that CNN blew its credibility in Point #1 of its response, and is guilty of the same kind of misleading presentation it takes Michael Moore to task for.

Dr. Gupta's use of the phrase "But hold on", followed by WHO stats strongly implies that the stats Gupta presented contradict Moore and/or were not presented by Moore, were something that Moore didn't want you to know. CNN's response that "Gupta never said that" is a weak defense at best. Dr. Gupta strongly implied that and apparently intended the reader to infer that. To claim otherwise is ridiculous. CNN says "Moore appears to be creating an issue where none exists". Please. Intentionally or not, Gupta is guilty of misleading his readers. Why can't CNN just admit that?
CNN,

I have a couple of points regarding the 'dispute' between Moore and Gupta. First, I believe both are impairing the real debate. Gupta's angle, that Moore and his tactics WERE the story, did little to further a subtantive debate on the health care system. Likewise, Moore's knee-jerk defensive attacks on Gupta's questions seem more inclined to increase the rancor of debate rather than to move to a substantive consensus.

There are two issues, though, that I find particularly concerning. First is the issue of Cuba. I feel both Gupta and Moore are both missing a key point - when my Cuban relatives visit the island, they have commented on the dearth of medecines due to the embargo.
This likely corresponds to medical equipment as well. How much higher in ranking would Cuba be if medicine and equipment were more readily available? If so, I believe Gupta's (and many other reporters') belief that Moore is just allowing himself to be duped may be wildly misplaced. How can a country with such scarcity of medicine rank so high, and how can we be so close to that level? We may be too dismissive of a comparison which is actually MORE damning than it first appears. Please fact check this, as I can't find sources from the past two years on whether medicines and medical equipment are still restricted by the embargo.

A second issue I have is singularly with Dr. Gupta's story angle - his point that Moore's breadth in terms of sources is in itself a fact-distorting skew. The question I have for Dr. Gupta is, what single source study can he cite that covers the breadth of commentary necessary for a feature length movie on the health care industry? So long as he can point to concrete examples of inconvenient facts for Moore that were ignored with regard to sources, and that he was highly selective of which facts were conveyed, then Dr. Gupta has me listening. However, to simply say that breadth of sources is equivalent to manipulation leaves me highly skeptical of whether he has placed so much weight on Moore's source credibility that he's missing the more important story. Please, Dr. Gupta - tell us the facts you dispute, and leave your general unease with Moore out of your coverage.

Sean
Dear Mr. Gupta,

How come you are picking a fight with Michael Moore? As a neuro-surgeon you should have your head examined by another neuro-surgeon. Are you part the Bush party?
Keep up the good fight for truth Dr. Gupta. Most Americans are uninformed about the reality of healthcare and are entitled and ignorant about systemic issues intrinsic to our society. While we have lots to improve Moore seems both inaccurate and destructive in his attempts to do "right". Comparisons among various nations are helpful at times but when alternatives are not provided they are merely a soapbox. Just like many ideologues whether left or right, Moore's information should be taken as opinion driven as opposed to fact driven. Statistics are easily manipulated merely for the sake of a headline with no consideration for the long-term effects. I look to well-respected professionals like you for fact-based information and you have NOT disappointed me. Thank you for challenging Moore even though it may make you unpopular with those that hold a biased ear. Well done CNN.
Michael Moore used facts from certain studies to support his case. CNN used facts from different studies to tell him his information was wrong.

The "My selected grouping of study facts is better then your selected grouping if study facts" war was waged.

The American people rolled their eyes.

Now, Dr Gupta, Michael Moore, CNN, let's all hold hands and make up.
I looked over CNN's latest rebuttal. I've also looked over the analasys done by FAIR and other medai watchdog groups.

First, how accurate is it to complain that Moore uses some 2006 data when that's when the movie was being created?

Second, has CNN apologized for the Vandbilt fellow? It seems as though all that information should have been disclosed by Gupta up-front in his piece.

I could go on and on but it's clear you fudged some facts-- just apologize. It's not like Moore was forcing you to take your talking poitns form HMO consultants! Does the rest of my news come from industry consultants? I hope not!

And if Gupta really truly believes Moore is misrepresenting the issue, then what has he gained by behving as the kettle and calling the pot black??
Dr. Gupta, you still don't get the point. All the statistics point to one problem regardless of where they come from with little differences. You saying that Michael Moore fudged the facts distracts the viewer from seeing the big picture. CNN should be facilitating the discussion instead of focusing on little differences which in return has no value to the viewer.

Tim E. Medford, MA
I think the problem with the report Sanjay, was that your report, while under the guise of traditional journalism, definitely had a Point of View. The CNN response continually says that your's and Moore's position weren't too far apart, yet the piece was attenuated with dramatic music and tag lines about the movies many flaws.

Ultimately, your problem with Moore is based in semantics. Not a real basis for hard news. Especially, news that is meant to undermine the credibility of a movie. A movie that is in fact not journalism and doesn't have the same exigence of bias free reportage.
Dear Dr Gupta,

Cost of Prescription Drug is one of the major component of high health care cost in this country.

As an investigative reporter are you willing to go to doctor's offices/hospitals/pharmacist etc. with a hidden camera and film drug representatives who shower doctors and their staff with gifts to push their drugs?

As I understand, medical students (future doctors) are bribed by pharmacetutical companies while they are still in medical school with free dinners and gifts. Please do not pretend that you do not know about this. You are a doctor and you also went through the medical school in this country.

I understand your and CNN's problem. Pharmacetucital Industry is the most importand client giving billions of dollars in unnecessary advertisement. CNN and any other media cannot afford to expose them. They have to cover them up so they continue to get billions of dollars of revenue from them at the cost of hard working, law abiding, tax paying, sick people in this country.

Finally, I should commend CNN for atleast participating in this debate. All other major network and other media have their lips sealed for the reason I mentioned above.

Can you respond to this on your web site? I will be looking for your reply.

Thanks.
Your assessment that Moore "tried to leave people with the impression that health care is free in many other countries" is very strange. I am a person. I watched the movie. Watching the movie it was very clear to me that people in other countries pay for health care with tax dollars. Your assessment is not fact, but rather your opinion. You should report it that way and not portray that you are somehow dispelling a myth in the name of journalistic integrity.

As I watched the movie and your discussion with Moore, his point was very clear to me. Our health care system is broken because money we put aside for health care doesn't get spent on it. It was clear in watching the movie that his frustration was with the percentage of health care dollars used to fund non medical activities: medical underwriting, advertising, promotion, and yachts for rich guys. It was equally clear to me that his frustration with you is your shifting the focus from that issue to disputes with him over what really amounts to theories on sourcing and negligible statistical differences. As I watched you do this, I kept thinking, "is he saying better sourcing would have altered the outcome; Moore's conclusion that non medical activities sucking up money is why some people with coverage suffer the tragedies they do in the film?" I'm sure you're not saying that but your choice of focus in your piece killed the real conversation that could have happened.

The piece you produced which upset Moore could have gone like this. "Fact check: yes, a young female child did indeed die because non medical activities in our medical system dictated that she could not receive critical treatment at the hospital closest to her. The non medical activities are the product of our medical companies trying to achieve greater profits". This report would have been as factually accurate as the one you ran, but you chose not to produce this one. So it's not a matter of your reporting being accurate and setting Moore straight. It's a matter of you choosing to obfuscate the main crux of the crisis with a red herring. And this red herring is costly for us viewers because the power of television and reports like yours are staggering. If I'm not mistaken, the reason for your reporting and that of other networks and media outlets is to help inform citizens on critical issues to help them make good decisions. As a journalist you are aware that what you choose to report and choose not to report is equally as important your factual accuracy. Your choice of what to report about Moore's movie was poor and did not serve me as a viewer at all.

Moore raises a great issue. Should we make money on sick people? Should we treat health care like Coke and Pepsi and sell it, market it, cut corners with it where we can to maximize profits, etc.? Your reporting never examines that issue in depth. It diverts attention from it. My solution? Run a 5 part series critically analyzing that very question at a very high intellectual level. Your viewers can handle this, right?

Moore's point about the other countries in the film is clear. They have removed the non medical activities from the health care equation by making medical care a social service paid for by tax dollars. He didn't say they removed Coke, Pepsi, Ford, Nextel, etc., from the free enterprise system, just medical care. Your point in response was that Moore should have used your sources for his statistics. Hmmm...
I am happy to see someone standing up to Michael Moore. Moore does "fudge" his statistics to make his case, as he has done in other documentaries. Anyone schooled in analysis knows that, when comparing statistics, one must use the same sources. Moore appears to use the most up to date data when it suits his purposes. That is not to say I don't think there are problems with the health care system in the States - there are - however, to portray other countries' systems as perfect and as models for the U.S. (without more thought or insight from folks who have actually used or lived in those systems) is downright irresponsible. If Mr. Moore wants to make documentaries, he should stick to the facts and provide competing viewpoints, not just rhetoric.
I think it's unfortunate the discussion has sunk into an argument about which fact was pulled from which piece of research.

My issue with the original "fact checking" piece was that, while Dr. Gupta may agree with many of Michael Moore's points, the piece as a whole undermined the movie. The tone of the segment was that CNN had unearthed the real truth that movie was trying to obscure, claiming at the end that Michael Moore had "fudged the facts". This to me was a bit of sensationalism, in terms of actual substance some details were disputed, but "fudging facts" is a pretty strong claim against the movies integrity and one that I think isn't supported by the evidence CNN has presented.

Instead of tackling the more difficult task of discussing and evaluating the the issues raised by the movie the CNN coverage has taken the easier path of debating factual minutia.

In fairness, Michael Moore also shares equal blame for happily wading into a tit-for-tat nitpicking battle.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN: "(Moore says) the United States slipped to number 37 in the world's health care systems. It's true. ... Moore brings a group of patients, including 9/11 workers, to Cuba and marvels at their free treatment and quality of care. But hold on -- that (World Health Organization) list puts Cuba's health care system even lower than the United States, coming in at No. 39."

I don't understand why people don't understand the use of "but hold on" in this statement. Moore is taking people to Cuba to presumably see medical care that is better than our own. But hold on, the US is ranked higher than Cuba, so how can their care be better? Its quite simple, the phrase is not about whether or not the numbers 37 and 39 are in the film, its about Moore acting like Cuba's care is better than that in the US when the numbers indicate that it is. Numbers Moore seemingly agrees with since he used them in his film.

As for the "nitpicking," the "apples to apples" standard CNN alludes to is a fair point. Anyone who has done academic research would know this. If you want your research to be valid and respected you use like data for comparison wherever possible. Clearly there are cases where Moore could have used like data but didn't because it made the discrepancy between whatever two things he was comparing at the time seem larger, thus appearing to give his argument more weight/drama. Dr. Gupta was spot on for calling him on that. Maybe Mr. Moore will learn from that and his next documentary will be more scientifically accurate.

Finally, I think its a shame that so many are calling Dr. Gupta a "shill" for the pharmaceutical companies. I have always found his reports to be highly skeptical, which is what a good scientist attempts to be. When new research/drugs come out, he doesn't immediately hop on the bandwagon. He responsibly tells his viewers that they should take the finding with a grain of salt. How often have we seen these wonder-drug/treatments turn out to be less than advertised?

Dr. Gupta, I continue to admire your work. Thank you.
CNN continually says that Moore is creating controversy where none exists.

I think many of Gupta's and CNN's statements ARE, in fact, implying discrepancy in Moore's facts, or at least in the way he reports them, then when they are called on it, they follow up claiming that's exactly they said and Moore's being defensive (the "but hold on" comment is doing EXACTLY that... please don't play dumb and act as if this was simply "reinforcing" Moore's point... it was meant to be confrontational). I think it's just the opposite. Why bring it up if you're in total agreeance with that point in the film, unless you are implying that he has exagerrated figures, or is reporting inaccurately?
I believe Dr. Gupta went out of his way to try to discredit Michael Moore's movie Sicko. He really missed the point and and lost my trust because Michael Moore's facts are correct.
Come on, Dr. Gupta. You know very well that there is no substantial problem with the way that Mr. Moore presented the facts. You were the one who 'created a controversy where none exists'. You are guilty of the same thing that you are accusing of Mr. Moore. Now with your response, you've lowered the discussion to the level of an internet flame war.

This isn't science, and it isn't journalism.
It would be interesting to see if Michael Moore responds to THIS statement from CNN. In my perspective, the more he responds, the more he feels like he might lose the trust of his fans all the way back from bowling for columbine.

Also, readers and viewers need to ask questions like, although Canadians have better systems, why do they still immigrate to the States? Or similarly ask, why aren't as many Americans moving to Canada?

Michael Moore will keep making such films... and they will continue to not have an impact on government or society. Fahrenheit 9/11 didn't change the goverment or the people. Bowling For Columbine didn't prevent Virginia Tech. Sicko ain't gonna do NOTHING. The *only* thing that really changed... was that Moore got richer and an army of unsuspecting fans ready to make him even more richer.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta has enough support and recognition. Moore sounds like he's gonna launch an anti-CNN war soon. His statement even mentioned how CNN could have prevented the war. But frankly, all the awareness... does it really change anything?
Your interview tonight with Andrew Speaker gives an individual who is clueless and narcissistic a totally undeserved platform to present his defense. Whether anyone has ever (or never) developed active Tuberculosis from someone traveling on a plane with that disease is not the issue. I am certain Mr. Speaker did not have that information before embarking on his odyssey. His interests were undoubtedly his own and he displayed total disregard for anyone around him. You are trivializing the severity of a disease (Tb) that is an annual killer of millions around the world. Every conversation you have with Mr. Speaker where he talks about the small risk he presented to his fellow travelers encourages someone else with Tb who may still be contagious to go out in public, ride a train or a bus, or get on a plane. I guarantee you that if someone like Mr. Speaker, who has expressed absolutely no guilt,emulates his irresponsible behavior; some unfortunate and unsuspecting individual will fairly quickly contract a communicable disease, whether it is Tb or Ebola virus or hepatitis A (from food contamination by some irresponsible food handler)or HIV or hepatitis B or C (from indiscriminate sexual activity. Why are you not pointing out the potential danger Mr. Speaker presented instead of making him out as a persecuted martyr.
So CNN stands doggedly by its conclusion that Moore "fudged" his facts. But hold on! Reading CNN's response to Moore, it looks as if the factual objections have been whittled down to three pussilanimous quibbles:

1. Moore cites life expectancy data from a 2006 UN report, rather than from a 2007 WHO report. How this is in any way improper -- let alone could constitute a "fudging" of the facts -- escapes me altogether. Perhaps a medical degree is required.

2. Moore describes universal health care as "free," a usage which CNN contends will lead the imbecilic masses to imagine that there will be no attendant tax burden whatsoever. This is condescension bordering on contempt.

3. Moore compares Cuba's 2003 per capita health expenditures with the United States' projected 2006 per capita health expenditures. This kind of statistical misstep might not be countenanced in a peer-reviewed journal, but it is surely disingenuous for CNN to pretend that Moore's underlying argument was in any way undermined: Whichever figures you choose, the U.S. outspends Cuba twenty-to-one, which was the point all along.

Is this all there is to the charge -- so far unretracted -- that Moore "fudged" his facts? The harder you look into this matter, the less there is to see. CNN emerges from this whole debacle as a petty, defensive Goliath, unable to acknowledge that it was just plain wrong.
Wow, you people at CNN are just shamelessly dancing around the truth like a high school student BSing their way through a book report for a book they didn't read.

Most of you are probably too young to know what journalism was like before news became a for profit venture and some of you might actually think you are "doing your jobs." The result of your point by point rebuttals was just further obfuscation of the truth. All you have done is provide yet more proof that you are the Ministry of Truth.
I would first all like to echo the views expressed by other posters concerning CNN's claim that their use of phrases like "but hold on!" and "fudged the facts" were defensible or appropriate, or that they didn't undermine the correct impression that Michael Moore had his facts very much straight. It also true that it was CNN, not Moore, who started "creating controversy where none exists."

But for me, first and foremost, is the simple fact that CNN, Gupta and the Deloitte Centre for Health or whatever this right-wing think tank is called all share an explicit anti-socialist bias, as evidenced by the snide little comments of Dobbs and Cafferty, in the Fox news leftist-bashing tradition at the end of the Blitzer piece. OF COURSE you pay higher taxes under socialism! But you actually get something back in return -- Americans pay taxes too, but they get zero back!
You guys still don't get it do you you? Pathetic response. We're done with CNN.
Fox News (especially Bill O'Reilly) is delighted with the dispute between Michael and Sanjay - like Imperial England would've been if the 13 colonies had decided to fight each other rather than the American Revolution. Get together, guys, and start doing a monthly special.
"As for the "nitpicking," the "apples to apples" standard CNN alludes to is a fair point. Anyone who has done academic research would know this. If you want your research to be valid and respected you use like data for comparison wherever possible. Clearly there are cases where Moore could have used like data but didn't because it made the discrepancy between whatever two things he was comparing at the time seem larger, thus appearing to give his argument more weight/drama. Dr. Gupta was spot on for calling him on that. Maybe Mr. Moore will learn from that and his next documentary will be more scientifically accurate."

THANK YOU! I was starting to wonder if no one following this debate actually works in the field and understands where CNN is coming from. As a heatlh services researcher myself, I know exactly why data must be scrutinized and analyzed perfectly. Most people have been calling this "nit-picking", but what Mr. Moore does with data is like nails on a chalkboard to people who do this every day (not just when the cameras are on). The fact that Moore did not understand any of Dr. Gupta's critiques of his use of data shows that he just has no real knowledge about data collection or analysis. I've looked up all of Moore's source documents on his website. I really doubt he has read them in their entirety and rather has staffers pulling numbers for him, because the conclusions he comes to based on them are misleading, at best, and just plain wrong, at worst. It could also be that he just does not have a clue what he is reading. It should also be noted that some of his source documents come from liberal think-tanks, so he was out of line for dismissing Dr. Keckly's information just because he works for a think-tank. If the information is true, you have to address it and not brush it off because of the political affiliations of the person delivering it. I can't imagine leaving a policy meeting at work and looking up everyone's political contributions and voting records to decide whose input to take seriously. It's just ridiculous and an embarassment.

And incase anyone is wondering, I'm a very liberal democrat, not a right-wing think-tanker or Mr. Moore hater. I am just someone who believes Americans are smart enough and deserve to receive complete information on this important national issue.
"We have zero vested interest in shading the numbers to tell a certain story. Suggesting otherwise, of Dr. Gupta or of CNN, just doesn't hold water."

I'm sure you meant:

"We have corporate vested interest in shading the numbers to tell a certain story. Suggesting otherwise, of Dr. Gupta or of CNN, just doesn't sit well with advertisers."
SUGGESTION: This seems to be a very hot button topic... a viewer draw. Perhaps weekly CNN should do its own investigation.

By that I mean many people hear the name Moore and they freak. So if CNN were to take the third party from this equation and research this entirely on their own, it would serve to benefit those who are turned off by Michael.

This issue seems to generate intensity even with those who do have national healthcare. The world has been wrestling with healthcare for a very long time. Not just in the USA.

Perhaps YouTube videos, a special email section for stories.

Perhaps a weekly time slot every week examining the state of healthcare throughout the world as submitted by the viewers themselves.

This is not only a ratings grabber, but a very passionate issue that currently divides.

There should be lots of suggestions from all sides of the fence. Not just complaints. The discussion should address the healthcare professionals concerns on all levels as well as their patients.

This is a story that has no conclusion as of yet and has left many feeling biased in one way or another because all the facts have yet to be heard. It seems we heard only a minuscule sampling. We need to hear from everyone to determine if this is a serious problem and if it is, we need to work to resolve it before it all blows up (if it hasn’t already).

What makes for a livable planet is the ability of its peoples to resolve their conflicts before physical confrontations. Hopefully CNN use its powerful communications capability to engage all parties of interest into constructive dialog. In this way possibly coming to a satisfactory conclusion for everyone’s concerns.

Personally I feel the system is in collapse, but many do not. Show me why you think it isn’t and maybe everyone can benefit in some way. This issue is not going to fade away any more then disease itself.

CNN and Dr. Gupta, please give it some serious consideration… since this probably was the hottest potato that Dr. Gupta ever had on his plate, eh?

Thanks
This weak apology is more of a justification of CNN's muckraking reporting rather than an apology. The tone of the so-called "fact-check" piece was undeniably insulting to Moore and implied that he and his movies are not to be trusted. You still owe Moore an apology.
My 18-year old son and I went to see SICKO this afternoon. Contrary to Dr. Gupta's poorly phrased editorial assertion that Moore had "fudged the numbers," the actual message of Moore's thought-provoking documentary is that health insurance companies continue to make life and death decisions by denying legitimate medical claims. The fact that health insurers hire paperwork detectives to uncover even the slightest or most remote pre-existing condition in a patient's past in order to deny treatment is a disgrace. Why are we, the most generous country on earth, continuing to throw away thousands of precious lives and millions of dollars in Iraq? Meanwhile, here at home in America, over 45 million have no health insurance and those of us "lucky" to have it cannot depend on it when we or our loved ones are seriously ill. The priorities are all wrong when health insurance execs are paid hefty bonuses based on their denial of coverage. This is a national disgrace.

Peeved in Pennsylvania
Dr Gupta:

I was extremely disappointed with your response to Mr Moore's reporting of the health care crisis! Your response is nothing more than mouth piece those in "your" profession that do not want the intrusion of a responsible solution to Corporate Healthcare. I am convinced your reporting needs more soul searching of the "oath" you took when you commited yourself to become an MD. MONEY has seriously clouded your research!

Thank You,

Mr R.V. McClellan, 63, Sacramento, CA
It is too bad that Dr. Gupta decided to do a "Fox News" and get in the middle of this. As Americans we must admit that it is shameful to have men, women and children die due to lack of proper healthcare while nearly every other major country in the world consider it a right. In America, as well as in "the media" the almighty dollar is apparently more important than human life.
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