Michael Moore’s new movie – – “Sicko” – – should stir up a lot of debate on the present condition of the health care system in the United States. According to the controversial producer, it is in bad shape. “Sicko” compares our country’s system with that in Canada, England, France and Cuba. And it leaves no question that citizens of those foreign nations enjoy longer and better lives with their free universal health care than the poor people here who have to put up with high costs for medical services and constant denials for services from health insurors.
Right or wrong, the movie puts one side of the issue on the table for all to see. Now it is up to the medical profession and insurance industry of this country to present the other side of the picture.
We have always been told that many people in countries with free health care for all have to wait for long periods of time for services and many come to the U. S. where such services are available right away. The few people that Moore interviews in those foreign countries, however, claim they get treatments right away in their own countries and at no cost. In fact, they are usually reimbursed for travel expenses to the medical facility where they are treated. And medical professionals are well paid for the services they provide.
Not much is mentioned in the film about the amount of taxes citizens of those countries pay to support health services. Presumably the rich pay a lot more which supports the services for the poor.
Nor is anything mentioned about the free services provided in the U. S. through medicaire, medicaid and charity hospital systems. As we pointed out, it is a one-sided comparison.
But it will benefit our medical care system for people to see “Sicko.” There is certainly a lot wrong with our system that needs repair.
Of course, Moore does not pass up the opportunity to make fun of Pres. George W. Bush and his administration. And he gives rough treatment to our former congressman, Billy Tauzin, who left office to become a highly paid lobbyist for pharmaceutical companies.
Go and see “Sicko.” It will enlighten you about one side of the issue. And then you can search for answers from the other side.
With a big presidential campaign coming up, a lot of attention will be paid to our country’s health care system. Let the debate begin. It should be very constructive.