Monday, June 18, 2007

SiCKO Review

Last night I watched an advanced screening of SiCKO, Michael Moore's new documentary. The movie is about the US health care industry and how poor the level of care is for a lot of people. He doesn't spend a lot of time on the topic that 50 million Americans don't have insurance, rather he focuses on the rest of Americans who do have it but still get terrible service from their insurance companies and are often denied vital procedures so that the insurance company doesn't have to pay out cash. A lot of the people he talks to have truly disturbing stories, many of which end in death, serious disability or bankruptcy after being denied service by the HMOs.

He spends a lot of time in countries with socialized medicine (Canada, UK, France and Cuba) to show that this type of system not only provides better service to all citizens but also provides good lifestyles and freedom for doctors who work in the system. As with any documentry you only see one side of these other systems but he does try to address some of the weak points of universal health (long wait times, less choice, etc).

I enjoyed the movie, it was a bit of a departure from Moore's other works as he has toned down the rhetoric and doesn't lash out at the insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies or government as you might expect (although there is still a fair bit of criticism). What he spends his time on is real life stories of people and how other countries manage to provide universal health care without becoming commies. By not spending the whole movie on the attack Moore ensures that the movie will have a wider audience and people who normally think he's a liberal nut case will be able to watch the movie without much prejudice.

Watching SiCKO makes you realize how important universal health care is and makes me feel good that Canadians place a high value on our system.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Peter Benjung said...

Sorry but this Canadian-born naturalized American finds the U.S. system to be far superior to the Canada's. It is customer-focused and quite accessible. You wouldn't want the government to control food and housing, so why health care? My Canadian friends are amazed at how quickly I can see a specialist, and, frankly, quite jealous.

Canadians need to stop seeing their broken Medicare system as a national symbol, and start asking tough questions about what can be done to make it better.

6:33 PM  
Blogger Andres Sehr said...

I think the American system can be better for a certain people but for the population as a whole I personally don't think it is.

First off is the 47 million or so people who have NO insurance at all and then the large portion of people who go into serious debt because of illness when they are not properly covered.

I've had no problem with the Canadian system, I haven't be seriously ill but I've seen family members who have and they've received good care, fairly quickly and with no payment.

8:49 PM  

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