Sunday, July 22, 2007


I went and saw this movie last night. It had some shocking, several touching, and many hilarious moments, all the better to convey the main point, i.e., the absurdity of the U.S. healthcare system's provision of health care BY bottom line profiteers.

In one scene, Michael Moore is sitting at a table of American ex-pats in France, sipping wine with them while they tell of the ease with which they raise their families in a family centered place like France. The government supports child-rearing by providing heavily-subsidized, universal daycare and even nanny-support. When the spectre of high taxes for such exquisite provision is raised for discussion, we see into a typical middle class French home complete with children, decorated with original art and souvenirs of trips abroad, taken with the 5 weeks of (paid) holidays commonly enjoyed for family bonding time. The homeowners state that holidays are probably their biggest household "expense".

At the table of ex-pats, Michael Moore can't take it anymore, sticks his fingers in his ears and sings "La-la-la-la...."

A touching moment (for me) was his interview with a Canadian on a golf course, who although he identified himself as a Conservative, wouldn't dream of trying to change the Canadian health care system as was envisioned by T.C. Douglas.

The movie captures all the blank looks of disbelief and smiles on the faces of citizens of non-US countries as Moore probes them for the political dirt - surely there must be a catch, right? After all, the powers-that-be in the US talk about all the terrible conditions that exist in socialized medicine countries, so they must be hiding the real truth, right? What is the true "cost" of all this "free" care? Try as he might, he just can't seem to find any smut to highlight. People seem happy, secure, peaceful, and in control of their lives. Governments in charge of operating egalitarian health care systems exist to carry out the "will" of the "people" to have the right to ...normal existence; happy, peaceful, secure and in control of their personal lives. Not the other way round.

By contrast, in the U.S., people, even those who can afford the $600 or so per month insurance premiums, have no guarantee they will be covered. A man who used to work for a health insurance company is interviewed - his job once was to screen out people as ineligible AFTER they received a medical diagnosis or treatment. They are rewarded for saving the company money by denying claims.

What if a patient has no insurance? They can end up dumped by a cab in front of a homeless shelter in the middle of the night, still wearing a hospital gown.

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