Saturday, June 5, 2010

Movie Review: Sicko

We watched Sicko tonight, a documentary by Michael Moore. This movie is primarily about the poor health care we have in this county. Moore visited Canada, England, France and Cuba - all of these countries offer free health care. The idea that Americans are treated like second rate citizens is a horrible realization to watch. Granted with documentaries, especially Moore, we are only getting one side of the story. He is famous for exposing the bad things to the American people. Granted these are all things that we need to know and things that we should know. It's sad that we don't know the things that are going on in this country. Of course, these may be things that most people already know, and I may be the only one living under a rock. Some of the things that I found fascinating is the fact that America has one of the worst infant mortality rates, 18,000 people die every year because they don't have insurance, hospitals dump patients off on the side of the road if they can't pay their bill, and a host of other things. In this country we don't treat health care as an obligation, we treat it as a privilege. In England doctors actually get bonuses or incentives for keeping their patients healthy, where as here, doctors get incentives for prescribing patients drugs, and insurance companies offer bonuses if they are able to save the company money. If denials are maintained at 10% then insurance adjusters or whatever, are doing their jobs. In France the citizens are offered free college education, minimal day care costs, and 35 hour work weeks. Something that is even more disturbing than this, I think, is the fact that on Guantanamo Bay, where there are prisoners and terrorists being held, they receive better treatment then people who helped at ground zero. They get preventative medical treatment. And something else that is disturbing, is that the people on the base actually believe that Americans on HMOs get the same kind of care. Which couldn't be further from the truth. People on HMOs get the run around trying to get coverage for their illness, while the very people that attacked this country get it for FREE!!! They get cancer screenings and diabetes screenings amongst other things. In Cuba, they ask you if you have a pre-existing condition to better help, not as a form of rejection. Doesn't that seem a little backwards??? If this is what the new health care is going to be like , I am not sure that it would be so bad. I realize that our taxes will be higher, and I think it could be worth it. Canadians live 3 years longer then we do. 

Insurance companies have a laundry list of things that they consider pre-existing conditions that they will not cover you as a result of. In the movie, one woman who was in a car accident was told by the insurance company that her ambulance ride wasn't covered, because it wasn't pre-approved!!! SERIOUSLY?!?!? She was knocked out unconscious in a car accident. Then if you get sick they look over your applications and or paperwork to see if there is something they can drop you for. One woman was dropped for having a yeast infection previously. That wasn't a serious medical condition, but since she was having female problems and didn't disclose that she had a yeast infection, the insurance company dropped her. It's unbelievable!! I can't believe that we treat people like this and have no problems. It is really disgusting! It is a sad state of affairs when the elderly in this country have to work in their "golden" years so that they can afford medical care and prescriptions. That particularly bothers me since both of my parents are in their "golden" years. 

We are not taking care of our citizens. This country has become greedy and selfish. Watching this movie and seeing how well they are treated in Canada, France, England and Cuba really left me with a knot of disgust in my stomach. We are supposed to be the land of the free and we are supposed to take care of our citizens. How is it that other countries know this and we don't?? How can we feel ok about taking money from Insurance  companies to deny people coverage they need to save their lives, taking money from pharmaceutical companies to push pills down Americans throats.

I love this country, I just wish we weren't so greedy and that we would take better care of our citizens.

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