UF expert available to comment on U.S. health care system

Published: June 21 2007


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Director Michael Moore has already taken a lot of criticism for unfavorably comparing the U.S. health care system to those of France, Canada and Cuba in his upcoming new documentary, “Sicko.”

But R. Paul Duncan, chairman of the University of Florida’s Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy, thinks the movie slated for release June 29 may have a point.

Duncan says that people who claim America has the best health care system in the world are simply wrong.

“Saying the United States has the best health care system in the world because we have places like the Mayo Clinic is like saying we have the best mass transit system because we have NASA,” he said. “Just because we have the best doesn’t mean everyone has access to it.”

According to Duncan, there are about 50 million people in the United States who are uninsured, primarily because they cannot afford health insurance and their employers do not offer it.

Duncan is a nationally prominent health services researcher as well as an expert on health insurance and the uninsured. He has been published in prestigious journals such as Medical Care, and Health Affairs. He is currently researching Florida’s Medicaid Reform Demonstration Project, health insurance, dental care utilization, and the characteristics of high-cost hospital patients.

He can be reached at 352-273-6065 or by e-mail at pduncan@phhp.ufl.edu.