Dying Despots


Castro is a decrepit commie dictator.  He has also been receiving medical care from a Spanish doctor.  Some people have attacked Castro’s use of a non Cuban doctor as an indictment of socialized medicine.  I believe this is fallacious for the following reasons:

  1.  There is no reason to expect a nation the size of Cuba to produce the best doctors in every or any field of medicine.
  2. There is no reason to assume that a man of Castro’s stature and wealth would seek anything but the best medical care money can provide.

Let’s reframe the argument.  Suppose he received care from a Cuban doctor and that the surgery was an unabashed success, would that prove anything?  At the very least it would prove that socialized medicine created one doctor that El Presidente would entrust with his life.  That’s it.

The institutional test of socialized medicine is not whether the rich will live but the quality of service offered to those unable to opt out of the system.


5 Responses to “Dying Despots”

  1. Jason Briggeman Says:

    Right on. Put simply, in a truly socialized system, the government would prevent people from opting out — while the dictator, who coordinates that prevention, would have no one to prevent him from opting out.

  2. Jason Briggeman Says:

    But…is the idea that the “non-rich” are always going to use domestic doctors, so this situation doesn’t show whether the non-rich are better or worse off?

  3. Stewart Says:

    The idea is that it is meaningless to compare two systems using outliers.

    Bush’s health is no more a triumph of capitalism than Castro’s is a failure of socialism.

  4. Eli Says:

    Would you find it meaningful if Cuba’s healthcare system caused Castro’s health problems?

  5. Stewart Says:


    It would be a data point.

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