Moore is the Real “Sicko”

Michael Moore is at it again. His new movie/documentary titled “Sicko” indicts the health care system in this country and, like some presidential candidates, is calling for the federal government to pick up the tab for universal health care. My answer to this problem was perfectly reflected in an article by Michael Tanner, director of health and welfare studies at the Cato Institute, yesterday in the Detroit News. Of course Moore doesn’t include any of this information in his film.

9 Comments so far

  1. richard (unregistered) on June 15th, 2007 @ 9:35 pm

    That article by Tanner was lame. The point about the U.S. having high quality of care doesn’t mean much if you don’t have access to it (myself included). The U.S. has the same problem as those patients that die waiting in Canada–our uninsured patients don’t seek preventative care until sometimes it’s too late.

    Although the author has a point on some issues such as long lines and other aspects regarding how unmanageable socialized medicine can be, what about some kind of hybrid encompassing both public and private institutions or identifying the issue and creating a system that avoids those deficiencies. It’s simply too easy to dismiss the issue entirely, when more than 15% (roughly 1 out of 6) of Americans aren’t insured.

    And don’t get me started on the bankruptcy law and those who are unable to shake huge debt incurred due to medical expenses. Knowing that, many avoid going to hospitals that are ‘obligated’ to treat them because somewhere later in time it will create a huge, crushing burden on the family.

  2. Tom (unregistered) on June 15th, 2007 @ 11:07 pm

    Therefore, you have the right to take my money (taxes), lower the quality of my care, and force me to stand in line? Simply because you shouldn’t have to incur a large debt? You get what you pay for. If you want coverage, pay for it, like the rest of us do. I shouldn’t be required to pay for anyone’s coverage but my own (and my dependents).

    As for Michael Moore, he’s a Hollywood guy. His #1 priority is making money. Sensational movies make money, regardless of their actual accuracy. I don’t even bother paying attention to anything that comes out of his mouth anymore.

  3. uadams (unregistered) on June 16th, 2007 @ 5:13 pm

    I have been a long subscriber to Metroblogging Detroit. I come here for what I thought was a positive spin on area events and life in the D. What I don’t come here for is this type of negativity, political posturing and name calling. That topic is covered in spades elsewhere. Sorry to say you lost a subscriber with this one.

  4. Tom (unregistered) on June 16th, 2007 @ 5:32 pm


  5. Rick (unregistered) on June 17th, 2007 @ 12:21 pm

    Good morning. Sorry my article offended you or you found it out of the norm. In defense, that’s what blogging is all about. In my over 100 blogs, 99% reflect how much I love the my city. On occasion, I have vented my opinion on a wider range of topics, good and bad. If I struck a nerve I did my job. Sorry to hear you are leaving. Instead why don’t you consider coming on board as a contributor. Metroblogging is a world wide organization and I am sure you can make a difference. Thanks for the comments. Have a great Fathers Day.


  6. richard (unregistered) on June 17th, 2007 @ 2:47 pm

    @Tom: “Therefore, you have the right to take my money (taxes),”

    I don’t, but the government does. Ever check your payroll stub or that lengthy document you send annually to a government agency referred to as the IRS?

    “… lower the quality of my care, and force me to stand in line?”

    No one’s talking about lowering the quality of anyone’s care but ensuring that everyone has access to that very same quality of care. Also, I’m not very sympathetic to someone’s complaint that they “have to stand in line” compared to a more serious concern of not being admitted to that line.

    “Simply because you shouldn’t have to incur a large debt?”

    We’re not talking about some irresponsible person racking up thousands of dollars in credit card debt or taking out loans to buy frivolous material items. We’re talking about a service that is needed and escaping the high cost isn’t possible. Trying to frame it as being irresponsible is grossly disingenuous and ignores the serious impact crushing medical debt has on families.

    “You get what you pay for. If you want coverage, pay for it, like the rest of us do.”

    Therein lies the problem. People can’t even pay for it because they have to make the mortgage, groceries, transportation for work, and other necessities. I wish it was as simple as you make it sound. The rest of us don’t have a money tree growing in our backyard like you seem to think.

    “I shouldn’t be required to pay for anyone’s coverage but my own (and my dependents).”

    Certainly you’re entitled to your opinion, even if it lacks in moral grounding and ignores economic realities that many companies and individuals are facing regarding exploding health care costs. I would also add it’s not as if you personally will be getting a medical bill in the mail for $15,000. It’s reasonable to create a system that takes care of those who need medical care, even if it means paying more in taxes. We all have a responsibility to support the community and society in which we live.

  7. Tom (unregistered) on June 17th, 2007 @ 8:48 pm

    I’m really tempted to continue this debate but my better senses are telling me not to. I completely disagree with you but have no interest in debating this further. Cheers.

  8. Kevin (unregistered) on June 18th, 2007 @ 11:22 am

    I used to agree with Tom. In fact I always believed that it was everyone’s responsibility to fend for themselves. Eventually I saw that mentality as unhelpful to all of us. My wife and I can’t even get coverage that is anywhere close to affordable and we make more than the median income. At my last job, by the time I left, our portion of our monthly premium was 1/3 of my pre-tax income! We don’t have any bad health problems. I had hernia surgery when I was 1 years old, and my wife and I have allergies (who doesn’t?). Even with the ridiculous costs we face to have insurance, they wouldn’t cover ANY allergy related expenses, wouldn’t cover prescriptions, or anything else we’d been to the doctors for in pretty much our entire lives. So we would have to pay somewhere in the ball park of $1200 for catastrophic coverage? WTF. We are crippling society with this. It’s not just the poor schlub living beyond his/her means that is hurt, it’s all of us.

    Do you know why it cost my wife and I almost two grand for a 2 hour emergency room visit? Because we had to pay for those who go there who can’t pay. We already pay for others health care, it’s just in the form of ridiculously inflated prices. Those who can’t afford to go to the doctors on a regular basis wait until they have serious problems and then go straight to the ER for the most expensive care. Public hospitals must give them the care even if they can’t pay. The result is that the costs must be passed on to those who can. We also end up with over crowded ERs, long delays, and worse care.

    I don’t want to take care of lazy people any more than the next, but this is about to become a huge, crippling problem, that will hinder our country’s ability to compete in a global market.

    No matter what you think, this will, and already is affecting you. We can wait until our major corporations offshore everything due to unmanageable costs, our economy sinks due to a lack of consumer spending from out of control health costs, or local governments go bankrupt, we all have to start paying our parents health costs along with our own and the costs for those who can’t pay on their own. Or we can start to reign in costs now, and figure out a way to use more preventative care and less catastrophic care, pay for the care when it’s less expensive, instead of when it’s ridiculously expensive.

    It’s always easy to say that if we each had to be responsible for our care we’d make better choices and care would be cheaper. I don’t know about you, but I’m not choosing my health care provider based on cost, so I wouldn’t choose the less expensive provider on my own, the way I would the tv I’d purchase for my home.

    Also, this is similar to the argument about privatizing s.s. It’s simply inefficient for each individual to do everything on their own in life. This is why I don’t pave my own driveway, or re-do my own transmission. I have a financial adviser invest my money, along with s.s., and I have doctors advise me on the best plan of action for my health. I shouldn’t be taking time away from contributing to society by calling all of the doctors in the area, to interview them an find out their pricing. It simply makes no sense.

  9. Mollika* (unregistered) on June 18th, 2007 @ 12:11 pm

    I grew up in Canada and was lucky enough to make use of public health care. However, the system is not perfect and Canada is consistently trying to improve. However, the bottom line is that the country decided to overlook race, culture, socioeconomic background, and any other discriminating factor to value the health of each and every one of its Canadians. The wealthy, like the wealthy around the world have the means to afford the best doctors in the world and many people come to the United States to receive this care. The wealthy always have more options. But, in the meantime, Canadians do not fret that they will not be taken care of when they go to the emergency room. They do not fear being in debt for the rest of their lives if they must undergo an operation. Peace of mind is invaluable. The few months after graduation I moved down to the States. Not being covered by my parents’ health insurance, not having a job with benefits, and not having money to afford to buy health insurance were some of the most nerve racking – I was a healthy 20-something. I could not imagine if I were elderly or sickly. It is frightening to be in a country that does not value the health of each individual to the same standard. Even now, some insurance gets one more than others. I am still worried that in some cases that my quality of care will come down to the insurance provider I chose when I was hired in.

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