"Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again..."

Location: Tampa, FL, United States

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sicko! A Review

Notwithstanding Michael Moore's reputation as a pro-liberal activist, his movie Sicko does offer some good points to ponder amidst its pitch for universal health care in America. Moore includes several anecdotes of people denied coverage by insensitive health insurance companies who seek to improve their bottom line. True, Moore may have exercised sleight-of-hand tactics to attack health insurers unfairly here but you get the impression he didn't. He laid out contribution figures paid by health insurance company lobbyists to politicians to illustrate the pressure put on them to pass legislation that's favorable to the insurers. Even Hillary isn't immune from accepting money from these lobbyists. Near the film's close Moore rounds up several of the patients featured earlier in his film to take them by boat to Guantanamo Bay (American held property in Cuba filled with Al Qaidaians) to get them care they're unable to get/afford here in the states. Denied at Guantanamo, these patients do get seen by Cuban doctors. Whether or not the free PR these Cubans received for participating influenced them is up to debate. One woman purchased respiratory inhalers for 5 cents (US) each and claimed to be paying $120 a piece for the same product back home.

Moore conducted several interviews with satisfied citizen-patients in Canada and France, to make the case universal health care, as available in these nations, is indeed cheaper and keeps all citizens in the health care loop. He did not interview anyone dissatisfied with the health care systems of these countries. Even if he did, a handful of anecdotal stories doesn't make or break the viability, or lack thereof, of any health care system. The rightness of a nation's theology and political system will usually be reflected in its industries, including health care.

If Moore truly wanted to present a solid case he should have appealed to history and the multitude of failed and succesful political and theological systems that have come and gone for millenia gone by. Failing to do this puts Moore in the unfortunate position of having released nothing more than a lengthy infomercial.

Universal health care by definition necessitates everyone turn over a degree of private property rights (i.e. personal wealth) to the state. The state is historically very self-serving and people-unfriendly in the long run. It preys on people's ease by which they cave into embracing politics of envy. Even if socialized medicine afforded some short term benefit it always runs the risk of imploding once self governance and family governance break down. America is rife with problem patients both incubating and incubated/hatched--drug seekers, high risk behaviorists, con artists, addicts, poor diet-related illnesses, anabolic steroidists, etc.--that would turn universal health care into a fiscal and nontherapeutic nightmare for most everyone. Notable exceptions include the Bushes, Clintons and their close friends. The past and current problems plaguing our oft tweaked health care system is a clear indicator many of the problems penciled in for elimination would actually get worse if access were free and universalized. Yes, many corporate giants are probably upgrading their private jets while true blue, Toyota- and Honda-driving Americans suffer in silence. However, apart from a return to more wholesome living on the part of a much higher percentage of Americans our health care system will continue to exist as an unacceptable and immensely expensive product for most.

America's health care problems are at their core byproducts of faulty theology. We've pushed the triune God aside and invited his curses in the process. Debating the delivery system is a red herring argument at this juncture.



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