|View single post by CleburneFan|
|Posted: Sun Jul 1st, 2007 01:10 am||
|Whether you hate Michael Moore or love Michael Moore, his new movie "Sicko" might really make you stop and think about a topic that will eventually impact each of us and that is health care in the United States.
Hubby and I went to the first showing yesterday at 11:00AM, Friday. To our surprise the theater was more than half full which is very unusual for a documentary, especially at that time of day. Another surprise was that all the patrons were retirees, I'd judge from the looks. No teens on high school vacation there.
Another surprise soon came when the movie rapidly changes from the plight of uninsured Americans to the plight of America's insured! Their problem is that health insurance companies, in business to make a profit, do all they can to deny their clients payment for any number of reasons and pay bonuses to the doctors who work for them who deny payment to the most clients. The denials come even if a patient may die because of refused care or even if the denila makes no sense.
One example was a woman who was knocked unconscious in a car wreck and was sent to the ER in an ambulance. Her insurance company denied payment for the ambulance because she was not pre-approved for the trip. But, remember, she was unconscious.
Moore shows several stories like that. Some are so sad. I hate crying in movies, but these stories were tear jerkers.
Then Moore visits Canada, England, France and even Cuba. I understand this last trip was illegal and Moore is in hot water because of it. He demonstrates how these countries have universal free health care and medications can be purchased for a pittance. He attempts to show that even though the governments of these countries provide such health care, their citizens are not drowning in the resultant taxes.
Hubby and I discussed this ourselves after the movie because a common argument against universal health care in the US is that taxes will rise precipitously. But I got to figuring how much Hubby and I pay for insurance and drug co-pays each year and that constuitutes a "tax" of a sort. What I mean is if the government paid all our health care expenses and medications, would our increased taxes be any higher than what we are paying right now out of our own pockets?
As can be imagined, immediately the talk shows have representatives from the insurance companies and representatives from the medical profession who are fighting back at every point made in "Sicko" and trying their level best to negate the impact of the movie...if there is any impact. But this is to be expected because if the movie does create a groundswell of efforts to change our health care system, the insurance companies will have no need to exist. Many doctors may not earn as much as they do now. Quite a few might earn even more!
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the medical correspondent on CNN showed how things aren't as good in Canada as Moore made out, namely long waits to see doctors. A representative of the health insurance industry appeared on Anderson Cooper giving her spin in a calm voice. Her thesis seemed to be that a few of Moore's cases were several years old and things are better now.
Certainly the movie will be a magnet for criticism from Moore's detractors and from the health care industry, but I still believe it is worth seeing if for no other reason than to see some of the real issues Moore does raise even if you don't endorse Moore's solutions or any type of socialized medicine.
One of the Cuban doctors said that Cuba is a poor country but they take care of the health of all of their people, but she had to wonder why the richest country in the world cannot do the same? The French, too, wonder why America can't do anywhere nearly as much as the French do for their citizens even including sending government nannies to mothers of new borns to do laundry and prepare simple meals for free.
The movie will make you think and make you wonder. You do not have to accept all of Moore's ideas unexamined, but you will leave asking questions. It was a very moving depiction of the situation. Hubby said he thinks it was a much better movie than "Farenheit 911."