Aasif Mandvi of The Daily Show used his wit to force the truth out of Fox conservative business commentator Todd Wilemon. It was a smooth takedown that left the professional in a fight for words.
“The US healthcare system is the best in the world,” said Wilemon. “But now with Obamacare our choices have been limited. You know, people are going to be seeing this cost more. I am getting less. I am not going to be happy.”
Mandvi then asked for a worst-case scenario. “We have longer lines. You may have to bring your own sheets,” said Wilemon. “In Russia they reuse syringes. The scenario where we could slip into Third World status would be slow, probably.”
Mandvi decided to examine the Third World status Wilemon was talking about by traveling to a region riffed with poverty. He traveled with Stan Brock, the founder of Remote Area Medical (RAM). The organization provides free medical services to people in the Third World unable to afford healthcare. It turns out that RAM is now doing 90 percent of its work in the United States. Brock said when he came to the States he saw the desperate need for medical care and hence the need for his services here.
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When asked to name five countries with better healthcare systems than the US, Brock ran off a litany of countries in excess of the five. It turns out the US is ranked 37th in the world.
Mandvi then confronted Wilemon with what he had found out without telling him that the place with Third World healthcare conditions is Knoxville, Tennessee. He told him the place he came back from had shockingly poor healthcare conditions and was still reeling from the loss in the Civil War. One quarter of the people are living in poverty. They have high rates of cancer and heart disease. How did Wilemon respond to that?
“This is how bad it could get,” he said. “If we keep going down the path of more government control, less innovation. I don’t know if we can be that place unless a great catastrophe happens in this country.”
Mandvi tells Wilemon he is talking about Knoxville. Wilemon goes into a 13-second silent panic. “People do fall through the cracks,” he responds. But it gets worse. He starts making comments like, everyone will get care but they may have to wait. Some people will get great health care while some will just get good healthcare. If you are poor, stop being poor. That is the healthcare system Wilemon and his ilk want. That is what Obamacare fixes.
Wilemon should watch the Fareed Zakaria report that everyone should check out here. In the report, Zakaria points out that Taiwan redid their entire health care system and used the American model to determine what not to do. They ended up with a single-payer system that kept the providers private. Obamacare is a few steps away from that but several yards away from the past failed model.