Sunday, February 17, 2008


I know that a mass hatred exists among Americans against Michael Moore. I, on the other hand, respect the documentary specialist. I think he brings awareness to issues that are prevalent in America. He's not doing it to agitate the American people (in a way) more than he's trying to expose problems that exists. It's not like he hates America. If he did, he wouldn't be making documentaries to bring awareness. He might make documentaries that make fun of the establishment or have tones that people find too mocking or obnoxious, but how else is change going to come about?

People wouldn't hate and dislike Michael Moore so much if he didn't make so much sense. His arguments just collide with our common frame of mind, so anything that challenges the norm is considered dangerous. Thus, Michael Moore is dangerous because he wants change, and change scares Americans. But, this change is for the better, so why don't we listen so we can do something to better ourselves?

Moore's newest documentary, Sicko, I found enlightening. His documentaries always create this profound feeling within me, like I've discovered something new. I am nerdy in how much I like documentaries, and in my opinion, (despite public hatred for the man), I think Michael Moore is great at it.

If you don't like him, listen to this. One guy has a Michael Moore hate website, but ironically enough, he had to close it down because he couldn't afford for health treatments for his wife who developed a serious illness. Upon hearing this, Michael Moore sent him a check to cover the treatments so he could still exercise his first amendment rights and continue his hate website. Now that's a patriot.

Sicko exposes the poor health care crisis in America. I was shocked to learn new facts that Moore points out. I want to share some of my discoveries here.

On the list of top health care within all countries in the world, America falls at number 37, right above Slovania. Where the hell is Slovania? Aren't we supposed to be the best nation in the world?

Moore showed various experiences of individuals who were denied health care and lost all of their money trying to survive. One man lost two of his fingers in a saw accident, and with no health insurance, they gave him two options: either put on the middle finger for $60,000 or put on the ring finger for $12,000. How can you put prices on body parts? How can one even decide that? He went for the less expensive option, but I think it's disgusting to even choose.

One woman had a necessary operation that cost $7,000 or more, and with health insurance, it paid for it. But, once they discovered she once had a yeast infection, they took aware her health insurance, and after already paying for the operation, refunded the money and made her pay for it. All about a yeast infection? Do you know how common those are? That's nothing! How disgusting.

Another woman had health insurance and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 22. They refused to pay for her treatment because she was too young to have cancer. How can they even determine that? Someone needs help. Why deny it? Why does age, race, sex, weight, previous diseases determine who is worthy of health insurance? I thought we got rid of weeding out people based on trivial matters like that.

I think the biggest shock to me was that others countries have universal health care. England, France, Canada, Cuba--all free health care to all citizens. Moore traveled to every country where hospital visits are free. Everything that has to do with health care is free. Hard to imagine in the US, huh?

It's not hard to believe, too, that the British, French, Cubans, and Canadians all have better health than we do. They live longer than we do, and have less infant mortality rates, less rates of cancer, heart disease, lung disease, etc. Why wouldn't we want the same for our citizens?

Pharmacies are definitely less expensive overseas too. In London, any drug is 6.65 pounds, no matter the amount or what kind of drug. Any drug is that price whether you want 100 pills or 20. If you're under 16 or over 65, it's free. A firefighter during 9/11 who has been denied health coverage for years contracted lung problems from rescuing victims to the crashes. She has to pay $120 per inhaler, and she needs about two per month. But with her poor health, she can't work her job so she had to quit. She hardly receives enough money just to pay for her medication. When Moore brought people who were victim to health insurance, like this woman, over to Cuba for treatment, that same inhaler was worth five cents in American money. Now isn't that insulting? And they all were treated for free there.

Moore went to Cuba because at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, prisoners get free around-the-clock health treatment. They are screened for cancers and given any sort of medical attention--this is more than many Americans receive! Even firefighters who helped with 9/11 don't receive anything from ailments derived from the rescue. George Pataki said, after 9/11, that rescuers had to fill out an affadavit that listed what they did during the rescue. Even after filing that, they are not necessarily covered for those ailments because that is determined by health companies. I think that's absurd. If anyone is going to help--volunteers, firefights, or EMTs--everyone should be covered for their participation. It shouldn't be based on what they did. They helped! That's more courage than most of us have, and to carry around pains and diseases from helping with no one to help...that's just sickening.

Other stats from countries... In England you pay nothing for a hospital stay. They even reimburse your transportation money after you've been treated. So they get money from coming, not paying thousands of dollars like we do here. In France, anyone can call a government service for house calls. For free, doctors will come to your house in under an hour to treat you. Seems crazy, huh? For us Americans, it does. They also have five weeks paid vacation per year, and if a mother has a child, for the first year, the government will pay for a nanny to cook, clean, and do laundry. Free of charge. Can you imagine something like that happening in America? I won't even mention that college is free there either...

A woman in France made an excellent argument: In France, citizens protest all the time, so the government fears its people and tries to make them happy. In the US, protesting is less common, and the people fear their government. Thus, the US government can control certain things like health insurance like this.

Health companies are so big now--they make a ridiculously high profit from their customers, some who they deny after having paid them for years. They even pay off members of Congress to help pass bills; they even employ them after their terms in Congress. I mean, why do they have such a big hand in our government? Why are we trying to make huge profits over helping our citizens even live comfortably? Is universal health care so terrible?

Hillary Clinton tried to promote universal health care while Bill was president, but health companies spent millions of dollars just to silence her and stop her. Maybe, if she gets in office, she can promote this kind of change. I'd like to be hopeful and think that if anyone can do this, she can. Right now, I'm torn between Obama and Clinton, but if one of them can bring about this radical change (and it would be COMPLETELY radical), then I am fully behind them.

To me, it just seems absurd that we're so behind other nations, especially when it comes to health and medicine! The United States is known for borrowing the best ideas from every country, so why haven't we jumped on this bandwagon? Because of profits? Are we really that greedy of a nation? Can we really disregard the health of the poor, the weak, the young, the old, the average citizen? It just seems unjust to me. Something here is not right.

I just hope that we can look back on this and laugh at how ridiculous we once were. Maybe in years we'll look at this like we look on how we hated people based on race, or even homosexuality. (Insert crazy face here). If England has been having universal health care since 1948, since after WWII, why are we so behind?

How can hospitals deny treatment to certain people? Why do we throw them out of hospitals and send them to clinics down the street? Shouldn't every American be worthy of treatments?

Is there anything we can do?

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