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Malloy Calls Cuba “Best Public Health System”; Linares, a Cuban-American Senator, Blasts Him

August 2, 2018 By Staff
Malloy Calls Cuba “Best Public Health System”; Linares, a Cuban-American Senator, Blasts Him

Dan Malloy said this week that "the best public health system is in Cuba." State Sen. Art Linares (R-Westbrook), a Cuban-American who is running for treasurer, blasted Malloy.

This week Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.) said “the best public health system is in Cuba.”

Malloy made the comments at an unveiling of $10 million in state funding for the Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center in New Haven.

The comments caught the attention of State Sen. Art Linares (R-Westbrook), a Cuban-American legislator who is running for state treasurer on the GOP side.

“Over the last sixty years the Castro government has been responsible for the murder of more than 33,000 people,” Linares said. “Yet this repressive Communist dictatorship is who Gov. Malloy looks to as a model of what we should do to our health care system in Connecticut.”

“As a Cuban-American, I have family members who can offer personal horror stories on the Cuban health care system,” Linares added. “I certainly don’t know anyone who would trade their health care at Yale Medical for Communist-quality treatment in Cuba.”

Indeed, the evidence that Cuba has a great health care system is mixed at best. In a piece for The Washington Post in 2016, Christopher Sabatini, an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, wrote that “advanced health care is flagging” in the country.

But while Cuba made great gains in primary and preventive care after the revolution, advanced health care is flagging. In the famously closed country, reliable statistics and rigorous studies are impossible to come by, but anecdotally, it appears that the health system used by average Cubans is in crisis. According to a report by the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, hospitals “are generally poorly maintained and short of staff and medicines.”

…One reason Cuba still sends doctors abroad despite findings like that: Its foreign medical program is a huge moneymaker, bringing approximately $2.5 billion per year to the cash-strapped government. With more than 50,000 Cuban health professionals working in 68 countries other than Cuba, the doctor export program has created a shortage of medical practitioners in Cuba.

Linares is in a GOP primary with party-endorsed candidate for state treasurer Thad Gray on August 14.