We saw the new Michael Moore flick, “Sicko,” last night at the Chase Plaza Theater. A guy played an organ before the movie started and I could buy a beer at the concession stand…and after the matinee movies started, they brought out the full bar for mixed drinks… I think we’ll be going back there… 😛
The movie itself is a documentary about the health care “system” here in the United States, about corporate profits and buyoffs of government officials, about how people in the middle class that had insurance were denied claims, and about how socialized health care (i.e. Canada, France, England) isn’t the evil that the right-wing wants us to believe.
Personally, I thought the movie was really, really well done. The main criticism of the film, however, is that it’s “one-sided” and that the health care industry as a whole doesn’t have the opportunity to rebutt. In my opinion however, after seeing what was presented in the movie, I find it hard to believe that an argument against these claims even exists. One is that socialized medicine will mean longer waits and less choice over doctors. Moore goes to Canada and shoots that one down quickly (20 min to 1 hr waits at any hospital). One is that, due to socialized medicine, you get higher taxes. He goes to France and shows a couple that makes the equivalent of $100,000, pays their taxes, and still travels all over the world (i.e. Sri Lanka, of all places…), has a new plasma TV, leather couches, etc. Another criticism is that doctors don’t make as much in Canada or England as they do here. Yeah…they still drive Audis that sell for $50,000 here…
Also, the movie isn’t all about health care. For much of the movie, he discusses other socialized systems in goverment. For example, in France, if you have a job, you get 5 weeks off a year minimum. That’s full-time or part-time. It’s required. If you’re sick, you get to take time off…paid… 65% from the government, 35% from the business. A guy had cancer, took three months off and went to the south of France…and was paid the whole time. It’s just a different mentality over there, and they’re all about preventative care.
So yeah, it was good, and I think the arguments were well thought-out and thoroughly established…let alone the fact that it was a highly entertaining and funny movie, too. It was also pretty depressing. Without explaining completely, let me just say that Moore takes some sick people to Cuba…and they get better treatment…and cheaper drugs… The examples of what people have to go through here, and that living somewhere else (and not necessarily in poverty) gets you better health coverage, is simply sad.
Thus, I ask you…see if you can find some rebuttals to this movie (whether you agree with them or not), ’cause I’m rather curious what could possibly shoot down what I saw. Sure, I bet Moore did some picking and choosing as to the examples he showed, but obviously we aren’t getting the whole story from our government (i.e. crazy right-wing Republicans) or the media (i.e. FOX News)…
Edit: CNN ran a little blurb about the film bringing up “fudged” facts… For those that care, Moore got to respond to it to Wolf Blitzer right after it aired, and then posted a full retort on his website later. Moore’s response to Blitzer is somewhat entertaining in the beginning, but his response on his website includes full citations for his claims about the report CNN ran just before his interview. If you have concerns about Moore’s statistics, it’s worth a read.