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“Sicko”

Michael Moore's I saw the new Michael Moore movie, “Sicko.” It was exactly what I expected … entertaining, sarcastic, biased, and 1 sided.  Even though I know he’s presenting real-life situation (that I have seen for myself), he presents NO solutions to our country’s health care problems.  Is he suggesting we go to a “socialize medicine” system?  As great as it may sound in a perfect world, our country has spent too much time, money and effort in creating the private profit-run system we have today.  I have no idea where we would even begin a major overhaul!  

We know that changing a dictatorship to democracy (like in Iraq) has extreme growing pains … private to socialize health care would definitely “hurt.”  The health care industry has become an established cornerstone of our country’s economy.  Not to say money is more important than our health, but “money” is essentially the issue.  The current industry influences other industries (stock prices & our retirement/investment accounts), competative salaries to have the best doctors & services & new innovations, and more.

When it comes to socialized medicine, we have 2 main models.  In Single-payer health care, the government pays for all health care costs, while hospitals and doctors’ practices may remain private (–yeah, like that will last).  In Two-tier health care (used in most developed countries, like Canada), a guaranteed public health care system exists where a private system operates in parallel. The private system has the benefit of shorter waiting times and more luxurious treatment, but costs far more than the public one for patients.  Canada puts so many restrictions on the private sector with billing restrictions that the only identifiable “two-tier” is that the wealthy can go to the U.S. for treatment, and quite a few Canadians do each year.  If these systems are so “great,” than why doesn’t everybody have access of getting the same level of care … having to leave their own system to the “greedy” U.S. system?

What’s the answer?  I don’t know, but something needs to be changed.  I don’t see any revolution coming, unless we experience a “health care 9/11” that gives the government an opportunity to save the day.  I’m waiting to hear some good ideas.

The only current idea I can see is the growing use of Health Savings Accounts (HSA) under a Consumer Driven Health Care (CDHC) system.  These efforts claim to bring back free-market variables into the healthcare system that will encourage competition, lower prices and improve service.  This seems to be the only realistic system that can be integrated into our mess of a health care without overturning everything.  Plus, I didn’t here Michael Moore mention it in the movie, so he’s probably afraid it’ll work.  —but, what do I know?    

  1. catholickermit
    July 8, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    In a July 1 AP article, “Moore’s ‘Sicko’ Gives Accused Little Say,” the writers noted how biased of a “documentary” the movie was. Here are some noteworthy “holes” in the movie:

    Moore says, “The U.S. slipped to #37 in healthcare around the world, just slightly ahead of Slovenia.” — What he forgot to mention was Cuba is ranked #39, Canada is #30, UK is #18, and France is #1. The rank is based on a 2000 report (with 1997 data) by the World Health Organization “that some health analysts viewed as misleading.”

    Moore presents waiting times in a Canadian emergency room with 20 minutes, 45 minute, and “I got help right away.” — according the Commonwealth Fund, the U.S. fared better than Canada in all areas measured.

    Emergency room waits of 4 hours or longer — Candada 24%, U.S. 12%.
    Specialist wait time longer than a month — Canada 57%, Britain 60%, U.S. 23%.

    Moore said the “Medicare drug prescription benefit” could make some elderly pay more for prescriptions than before (which is true). But the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services says the annual government subsidies help people save about $1,200 a year on average through Medicare Part D.

    Ground zero workers received red carpet treatment in Cuba with top-notch care. — Just ask a Cuban if they would get that kind of treatment.

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