There couldn’t be a better word to describe Michael Moore’s latest film “Sicko”. Traveling through the health care world in the United States brings on a new era of realization of how “Sickening” the health insurance industry of America really is.
Almost 50 Million Americans live without health insurance in America. As bad as that is, some insurance companies make it extremely difficult to get any insurance claims at all for the rest of the 250 million Americans that do have health insurance coverage.
Sicko, documents a case where a man had accidentally sawed off two of his fingers, the index finger and the middle finger. When the man was taken to the hospital, he was given a choice – sew back the index finger for $12,000 or sew back the middle finger for $60, 000 – his choice was to keep his index finger, and keep a place for his sacred wedding ring.
This is not an uncommon story in the American health insurance industry, as Sicko depicts that health insurance companies will do whatever it takes to deny a recipient benefit claims.
Another example from Sicko is of a child who was taken to the nearest hospital, after her high fever of 104 would not come down. When she and her mother got to the hospital, they were informed that their HMO, Kaiser Permanente, would not cover the little girls health treatment costs, and that she has to be taken to a hospital that is affiliated with their HMO Kaiser Permanente. After arguing and desperately pleading with the hospital to treat the child there, and not transfer her to a different hospital, by the time the little girl did arrive to the HMO’s affiliated hospital, the little girl Mychelle, was pronounced “expired.”
Michael Moore also takes note of other countries health care systems compared to the American system and profiles countries such as Canada, England, and France – all which provide a free health care system.
In Canada, they can give their thanks to Tommy Douglas, who implemented the universal health care system, known as the Universal Medicare Legislation created in 1961.
In England, they have the NHS – National Health Service, which provides the majority of healthcare in England, from general practitioners to hospitals, long-term healthcare, dentistry and ophthalmology . Founded in 1948 it has become an integral part of British society, culture and everyday life.
In France, they have a system which offers unlimited sick days, vacation time starting at 4 weeks, and to top it off, free nurse and nanny care for new mothers. France was also given the title of “best health system in the world” by the World Health Organization (WHO) in June 2000.
Why is it that countries like Canada, England and France are able to offer their citizens free health care, and be so generous and kind, and then on the other side, the American system being so cruel and cold-hearted?
Sicko, explores the tragic and failing health care system in the United States of America, and can be viewed nationwide hitting the box offices on June 29th, 2007.