I watched Moore’s new movie ‘Sicko’ last night and I think it is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen – namely on the universalism of health-care. Here is my take on the movie.
Firstly, universal health care does work and works in a variety of ways in several countries including France, Canada, Britian, and Cuba…and the majority of these countries are not socialist or communist – actually 3 of the 4 have conservative govt’s. I think Moore brings up the idea that we see other countries new consumer goods and we buy them (since they are good ideas) – why can’t we do this with health care? And 2 of these systems flourish in leaps and bounds – Britain only asks you pay $10.00 for all your perscriptions and France even has doctors who make house-calls (for free). I seen those examples and I was shocked – great ideas.
Secondly, universal health care is an idea that works for the poor and rich alike – it’s very Robin Hood-ish indeed – takes from the more wealthy (in taxes) and helps to keep the system going so all can access it – even those without jobs. For me, this is the absolute selling point of the system – no one gets left out of essential care – irregardless of their class status. To me, this is an absolute Christian value and I can’t see why any Christian would ever speak against ‘helping the less fortunate’.
Thirdly, one example of someone losing their loved one for the sake of not getting essential health care in a progressively rich country is one too many. Moore however does not stop at one story – he has a plethora of examples to choose from (about 30 people) – even Americans in other countries weigh in…even 6000+ e-mails of medical horror stories. Now some Americans may not like Cuba but Che’s daughter said some of the most encouraging things I have ever heard – I paraphrase – ‘Cubans can not understand how the richest country can even have problems – shouldn’t everyone be well taken care of’?’ Some examples are: a man having to chose between fingers he cut off in an accident (couldn’t afford both), a ladies daughter not getting antibiotics for her daughter (later died), and some victims of the 9/11 disaster not getting adequate medical care for conditions suffered from their volunteer work. Very sad indeed.
Fourthly, a system of health care and insurers that is run ‘for profit’ is a system in need of serious change. Health care is as essential to the human as the need for food and water is – it is essential to human happiness & life (which I think are mentioned in the constitution). People are getting rich by denying some people the cures to their very ills and this is not only barbaric, it’s straight from the pit of evil (apparently some people can be worth less than a dollar sign). No one single person should be denied the right to ‘live’ – this is an absolute essential to humanity – that to deny it is tantamount to crimes against humanity.
Fifthly, people do not need to fear their government. Ironically, it seems the opposite is what true democracy is – government revering it’s own people and listening. France was an overwhelming example of the people speaking out and being heard – and the government listened – including things like standing up for a 35 hour work week, holidays, and their health care system – and they were heard. They do not fear their government but respect that role it should play – and the government listens. I actually find it much scarier when business is in charge since ethically business is not a ‘person’ nor does it care about people – it’s mission is to make a profit. If business can get away with selling your families drugs that will kill them – they will do just that – or have we forgot about the tobacco industry. Just thought I’d remind ourselves of that.
So for me the movie was a contemplative experience – I thought about what humans will take as they are told what to do – that even sometimes ethics can be cleansed from the human conscience if we are told this ‘is our job’ or ‘this is just how it is’. Collectively we are being taken apart and being individualized – we are losing a grip on our collective strengths as a people. We are a democracy and in a free country – just how much more of this are we going to take? Shouldn’t accountability start with us and not with lobbyists? I am ranting a bit but honestly – if you knew a better way why wouldn’t you ask for it?