July 1, 2007

Thoughts on Sicko

I cannot believe, nor even pretend
That the thunder I hear, will just disappear
And the nightmare will end.
--- David Gilmour, Out Of The Blue

Sicko is not a balanced documentary. So what? Michael Moore has things to say. We can benefit by watching, even if we don't agree with all his points.

45 million Americans don't have health care. The 200 million who do, may not be getting good enough health care because of the profit motivations of the private suppliers. The United States is alone (among comparable countries) in not providing public healthcare.

Major Points
The film shows that the average person can get better health care in other countries such as Canada, Britain, France and Cuba. How can a country without healthy citizens excel? The American for-profit healthcare industry is not shown in a good light. The poor perceptions can add to anxiety in other countries regarding the likelihood of getting claims paid for disability, critical illness and long-term care.

Life often looks rosier in other places. France in particular looked like a country where life is much more balanced than it is here in Canada and the United States. Naturally, there are costs to providing the government services the French seem to enjoy.

I felt sad --- very sad --- to see that 9/11 rescue workers have not been getting proper medical care. Their actions were so selfless.

Sicko is well worth watching. You're sure to leave the theatre disturbed about the health care that Americans receive. Overall, I'm glad to be living in Canada with universal health care.

Happy Canada Day!



Anonymous said...

I saw it on the weekend too, and found it to be quite interesting. The French engineer (and his wife) earned about $8000 / month after taxes (I *think*), which is quite a bit lower then an engineer with a working spouse would earn in America (but they seemed to have a decent lifestyle).

My girlfriend was all set to move to France after watching Sicko :-).

I usually find a few issues that I disagree with in any Michael Moore film, but overall I found this one the most touching / influential. I had a tear in my eye when the 9/11 worker was being treated in Cuba and she started crying and hugging the Cuban doctor when he told her they were going to make her better.

I'm going to watch this again before I pay my taxes next year to take the sting out of it a little bit :-).

Promod said...

Thanks for your comments, Mr. Cheap.

France looked idyllic (your numbers look right but I don't know how typical such earnings would be). If citizens don't like something, they protest and the government caves in. Maybe that's better than apathy.