Sicko

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You know, I recently watched this film for the first time.  It is, of course, nothing if not timely.  If you saw it on its release a couple years ago, or if you’ve never seen it, now would be a good time to pop it in the queue.

I didn’t see it when it came out because at this point I’m a bit weary of Moore’s bludgeoning satire, even if I’m on his side politically.  And I didn’t think there was anything for me to learn about the situation.  Although I didn’t learn very much I didn’t already know about health care, I was moved by some of the personal stories that Moore tells and, more importantly, shows us.

Of course this is propaganda.  Of course this is one-sided.  Canada is not a utopia of satisfied patients.  Neither is Great Britain.  But the points made are, at their base, truthful and important.  The citizens there do not worry about being bankrupted by a medical crisis and their doctors are rewarded for keeping patients healthy and not just for doing stuff and using expensive equipment.  And Moore, for the most part, stays out of the way and only indulges in his penchant for stunts towards the end of the film.  After what had been a fairly straight-forward documentary up to that point, I was a bit disappointed to be brought into Moore-world again. But I forgive him.

The most heartbreaking story involves a woman whose very young daughter required immediate attention and was denied care at the hospital closest to her home because it was out-of-network.  While she argued with the hospital, bad things happened.  A caring society would never allow life and death to become a commodity.  And in a single-payer system, such an issue would never even arise.

You don’t have to take Moore’s skewed word for it.  You can go to the congressional records.  In one scene which could not possibly be viewed as slanted, a former HMO employee regretfully describes to congress how her company’s denial of benefits led to the death of a patient.  But it saved them lots of money!  Watch it here.

And hey, how much do you love Nixon?  Profits for denying care?  Awesome!

Afraid of death panels?  They exist already, but the government isn’t involved. Moore’s  focus, which I think is proper, is not on the uninsured, but on the insured, who aren’t really.  Insured, that is.  As long as profit is in the equation anywhere, we will have a problem.

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One Response to “Sicko”

  1. Mrs. Chili Says:

    I’ve always had a problem with health care and education for profit. Once profit is involved, the best interest of the proposed receiver of the services becomes a secondary concern.

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