Saturday, July 07, 2007

Sicko..a review

Today I watched the Michael Moore (MM) movie called "Sicko". Typically I don't watch movies in theaters, but my FIL is in town and we had to entertain him. But more on that tomorrow.

So I am a die-hard liberal married to a socialist Canadian. Which is strange considering our finances. But I am a firm supporter and believer in universal healthcare. I believe it is short-sighted for people to think they are covered even my employer insurance. Why? Because imagine you are vacationing in Hawaii and crack your head on a surfboard. Then you go to the hospital, and are told you have to pay a lot of money, 50% because you are an out of network hospital, using an out of network doctor whose costs are considered "unreasonable" to your home state insurance.

Hmm...gee you'd be up the creek at that point. So how is it possible that people who work and pay for insurance would be so screwed? Well it can and does happen all the time. And the yet people believe a universal system is bad?

Watch the movie. I believe that MM overexaggerated the faults of the US system, but there are many problems. I also know he understates the waiting time for the Canadian, UK, and French universal systems. Being married to a Canadian, he says there are waiting times for medical treatments, but they can be shorter than the US system. What????

Well think how long it takes to get "pre-approval" for treatment? Or how much the insurance company fights paying for treatments? The film Sicko shows how much the average american has to struggle. But do they even think about universal healthcare? No.

Mainly because it's been demonized by the government. Truth is Canadians pay only 10% of federal taxes to their universal health care system. Americans pay 14.6% of their taxes because of skyrocketing costs of healthcare. Here's a link to check out. So if universal health care cost less why are using a capitalistic system?

But it does cost more in increased government taxes. Something which MM did not talk about in Sicko. Instead he focused on all the free care people receive from their governments. He did not address that it calls for increased tax revenues.

But why aren't we willing to change? MM suggests because Americans are afraid of revolting against the government. A corrupt government in bed with insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and doctors. Also when he interviewed people in universal healthcare countries, they said they care about society in the whole and not just themselves.

And perhaps that is the root of the problems. Americans care about me, me, me, and never consider the bigger picture. If we had a socialized system imagine being able travel anywhere without fear. Imagine not worrying about losing your job or finding one to provide health insurance because you were covered by the taxes you paid? And that employers would no longer be able to skirt hiring you for 35 hours to not pay you health coverage?

Things might change. People might reconsider their lives. Definitely if we had universal system less people would need to declare Bankruptcy for medical catastrophes. The number #1 cause of BK is medical bills.

I would not believe ever point in the film Sicko. It's got a major liberal bias. However I do think it raises valid points to be thought mulled over. Perhaps when all is said and done you'll still think every man for himself and socialized medicine crap. But at least watching the film it will make you aware what socialized medicine is. It will also make you think about how easy it is to slip from a comfortable middle class existence to bankrupt by the wrong medical tragedy.


Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you that no one ever discusses the increases in taxes that would be required to implement universal healthcare. This is my main beef with films like Moore's.

My friend who saw Sicko was like, "We will all want to move to France after seeing this movie." Uhh, not bloody likely. France has one of the worst economies in Europe, with high unemployment and huge taxes (approaching 60%).

Living Almost Large said...

I'm all for universal healthcare. But I think that people don't really understand how it works or what it costs. It does cost less than what the US pays now.

But the US would have to increased taxes by a lot to make a solvent systme or else we end up like SS. Things need to change, even if we stay in the current system.

Anonymous said...

I don't think any increase in taxes would be necessary, merely a shift in taxes from the hundreds of billions of $$ spent on fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan over to health care. If we make our politicians spend money on health care and not war we might actually be a little healthier and save the lives on hundreds of thousands of innocent Americans, Iraqis, and Afghani's. How about that?

Living Almost Large said...

Alas that is not going to happen.