August 8, 2008

Sicko, 9/11 Firefighters and Shoddy American Health Care

I just finished watching Sicko (the 2007 documentary by Michael Moore about American health care, or lack thereof) and it is way better than Fahrenheit 9/11 (Four Stars) and every bit just as good as Bowling for Columbine (Five Stars).


In the film Michael Moore manages to demonstrate why American health care is so shoddy. He doesn't actually say why, but I will: Because the health insurance and pharmaceutical industry in the USA is f%^&*#g greedy, and because American politicians have been paid off to maintain the status quo.

In the film Moore also visits 4 countries that have free health care: Canada, Britain, France and Cuba, so see what so-called socialist health care is like.

Moore even takes a group of Americans, including 3 firefighters/rescue workers who have medical illnesses from 9/11, to Guantanamo Bay (where terrorists get free health care paid for by American taxes) and tried to get the powers that be in Guantanamo Bay to give them medical care because the American government and health insurance companies refuse to pay for the health care.

Turned away from Guantanamo Bay, they instead went to Havana where they received free health care from a hospital in Havana, and medications ($120 worth for less a $1) from a regular pharmacy.

A local group of Cuban firefighters even invited the American firefighters over to meet them, shake their hands... and quite frankly that was a tear jerker moment.

50 million Americans don't have health insurance. The other 250 million who do frequently are denied coverage for a variety of reasons.

Too old, too young, too thin, too fat, pre-existing conditions, not life-threatening and a slew of other medical conditions health insurance companies refuse to pay for... so what exactly is the health insurance companies paying for? Because apparently they're not paying for health care.

The following is the World Health Organization's ranking of the world's top 40 health systems. You will notice that the USA ranks #37th, just two above Cuba (which has free coverage for both its citizens and even foreigners who visit).

1 France
2 Italy
3 San Marino
4 Andorra
5 Malta
6 Singapore
7 Spain
8 Oman
9 Austria
10 Japan
11 Norway
12 Portugal
13 Monaco
14 Greece
15 Iceland
16 Luxembourg
17 Netherlands
18 United Kingdom
19 Ireland
20 Switzerland
21 Belgium
22 Colombia
23 Sweden
24 Cyprus
25 Germany
26 Saudi Arabia
27 United Arab Emirates
28 Israel
29 Morocco
30 Canada
31 Finland
32 Australia
33 Chile
34 Denmark
35 Dominica
36 Costa Rica
37 United States of America
38 Slovenia
39 Cuba
40 Brunei

And its not like doctors in Canada, Britain, France or Cuba are any less than American doctors. Its the difference between receiving treatment and not receiving treatment. In America the health industry is controlled by privately owned health insurance companies... and they use every chance they get to deny people treatment because it hurts their stock value.

And does Canada and other countries have high taxes that cripple their economies? No. Like America they also have free schooling, free police, free firefighters, free libraries and a host of other things the government pays for. So why not health care?

Indeed the United States is the ONLY country in both North and South America that does not have free health care.

1 comment:

  1. Well put. I have not seen this movie, amazingly enough, but have suffered chronic bronchitis from 9-11 for 7 years now. I have a blog as well, just posted a similar post on my *own* testimony, and appreciate your viewpoint.

    And yes, pharmaceutical companies rake in way too much money to compensate the charges for the patients who need the medicine and cannot afford them, not to mention the red tape involved.


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