Last night Scotty and I went to see Michael Moore's "Sicko". (Side note: good frickin thing we did, since on its second night in Cowboy Town there were all of five people in the theater.)

Here's the deal with Mikey. You love him or you think he's an ass. Personally, I love him...not because he's fair, not because he's balanced (he's neither) but because he speaks his mind clearly, directly and passionately. And because usually, I agree with what he has to say.

"Sicko", as you may know, is a vicious disemboweling of the corrupt HMO system that currently holds our country in its clutches. I do not speak too strongly here. We're getting fucked by the insurance companies, and they're not using lubricant--it isn't covered.

My vitriol is coming from personal experience. Currently, my lil family is happy to be paying the "low" price of $286 per month for insurance for me and the kids (Scott is covered through his job). Last month we had to take Maya to the emergency room because she had a spiking fever that was not letting up. She needed multiple tests and a huge syringe of antibiotics before they let her out of there. Charge: $600. Covered? I think not.

So now, on top of paying the premium, I'm making payments to the hospital.

But will I complain? No! Because I had a hell of a time getting this insurance in the first place! They initially denied me because my medical history included complicated pregnancies (done with that for this lifetime, I assure you) and a little maintenance dose of Lexapro for those long dark December nights. I might as well go ahead and order the cemetery plot.

In other countries, you just get help. You get antibiotics and surgery and x-rays and even dental care. You get it because you need it and because, well, you're a citizen.

Moore makes the point that we have socialized law enforcement, fire protection, schools and libraries. Why can't we have socialized medicine, too?

In all fairness, I understand that this is a complicated issue, and that there are plenty of valid counterpoints. You won't see these counterpoints in "Sicko", which is really two unmitigated hours of propaganda, but you will see plenty to make you damned mad.

Capitalism has its place. But it's not the doctor's office. If this movie does nothing else, it shines a light on something we've learned to live with, like the proverbial frogs in the pot.

It's not too late to jump.

1 comment:

PocketCT said...

The most horrible thing about this system is that it isn't even capitalism. In capitalism people pay directly for services therefore competition works to balance price gouging. Since people are removed from what they are paying for the costs are inflated ridiculously. Especially in pharmaceuticals. We see the bill that said we would have had to pay a zillion dollars for drugs if we didn't have the $15 copay and think that god for insurance. We pay for it all anyway many many times over. Yes we can do way way better for all our healthcare. As a nation we pay something twice as much as any other nation and our care is ranked 37th and is nestled between advanced wealthy societies and health superstars such as cuba slovenia and costa rica.
Another thing that I wish we could open our eyes and see that there are many options here. We could go purely capitalistic on the light stuff and cover everyone on the major things. Singapore does something like that with a tax free savings account for checkups and dental cleaning that you can use discretionary. So if you want to save on cleaning by waiting at a clinic you have more spending money for mole removal. Of course for everyone if you wreck your knee you are covered. There are so many ways we could make this way better.