Thursday, July 26, 2007

SICKO -laugh and cry


I saw "Sicko" last night...Michael Moore's latest documentary about the health care industry in the U.S. Let me tell you..he got it right! The movie was chuckle out loud (col) funny and at the same time, left the viewer with a feeling of outrage. For every outrageous insurance denial story, every doctor I know could supply 100 more. See my prior post on one such denial and how it affected a young family.

If you see Sicko, you can't be in denial anymore. We don't have the best healthcare in the world. We don't take good care of our population and we don't have a compassionate society. We need to admit the brutal truth and move on.

We Americans need to quit making excuses about how hard it will be to cover every man, woman and child with health insurance. It isn't that hard...it just takes a groundswell of outrage. We need to quit being afraid of "government" controlled medicine and expand Medicare for everyone. I never hear a patient complain about Medicare. Old folks love Medicare. It needs to be revamped and remodeled anyway and this would be the time to do it. Keep it possible for folks to buy private insurance to supplement the benefits. Stop the cost shifting of 47 million uninsured (and millions more underinsured who are paying their own way ). Get rid of Medicaid and roll those dollars into Medicare. Get rid of the costly Part D pharmacy benefits that simply shift billions of dollars to big Pharma, their pharmacy benefit subsidiaries and the insurance companies. Make sure everyone has a "medical home" that can focus on preventive medicine and disease management. Reorganize medical training and reimbursement to "save" primary care as it is gasping its last breath.

Couple healthcare reform with healthy life reform. Get rid of soda in schools, build playgrounds, community gardens and re institute sports. Have carrot snack breaks in preschool and tax the #@*& out of cigarettes.

Who is going to pay for all of this? We are! But we are paying for it anyway in huge insurance bills, state and federal taxes, lower wages, staying at dead end jobs to keep insurance benefits and anxiety about growing old.

See Sicko and don't believe it can't be done. We start by making sure everyone is covered with health benefits and has good access to medical care.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I saw Sicko too and agree that we need to cover everyone and provide basic healthcare. No one should fear getting sick in America. We spend billions of dollars on war. Somehow there is enough money for that, but not enough to provide social services. I just don't get it.

Rich said...

Insurance companies - oh boy this is a big one for me. I remember being denied a claim once that ended up making me broke and in need of public assistance (the one and only time I've ever had to ask for help)I gave them (the insurance company) their money every month on time but when it came time for them to hold true to their end of the deal they bailed out on me. I did get a lwayer and settled it in my favor but in the mean time my family and I had lost everything.

Rich said...

One more thing- As a person who works in health care I find a lot of patients tend to take out their anger they have toward the system on the wrong people. That being doctors and clinicians and the very people who are trying to help them. It's not intentional I'm sure but we are on the front lines so we are the one's who get shot at. I'm sure you know all too well about this.

Toni Brayer MD said...

The one thing patients don't fully understand is how much uncompensated time it takes doctors to advocate for their patients and patient benefits with insurance companies and Medicare. Letters, chart copies, attending physician statements, repeated billing to insurance, writing appeal letters...this is time taken away from patient care and is a key reason doctors are so unhappy about "paperwork".

EI said...

You are a breath of fresh air. You are "home base." You are Anna Quindlan understandable. I feel that when you write you and I are doing the dinner dishes and chatting and I get it. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I liked watching the credits of Sicko when it had the website for Americans who want to marry a Canadian for health benefits. www.marryacanuck.com. Too funny.

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I love that guy, I mean... he is a showman, but he knows how works the audience, he is an expert, specially in politics matters. Most of the viewers can support my version. This guy is one of the best in this category: investigations movies and documentaries.

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To my mind one and all must go through this.

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I think that the documentary was excellent, he really opened the eyes for so many people, and not only with this one, but all of his documentaries are amazing.

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