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Sicko

On Sunday, my wife and I went to see Michael Moore‘s new film, Sicko. Going to school at the University of Michigan, I’ve followed Moore’s career since Roger and Me. I don’t always agree with his points (although he often has good ones) or how he drives them home (I don’t think his stunts are as effective as letting others make his points for him), but I appreciate him standing up for what he thinks is right and for asking questions.

For Sicko, I stand squarely in the choir to which the film preaches. The health-care industry in America is a disturbing, embarrassing, life-threatening mess. I could throw stats and anecdotes at you to back up that point, but Sicko does an excellent job of it. If you’re interested in the issue (and how many Americans aren’t ever worried about health care these days?), make a point of seeing it. In Rock County, it’s playing at the Wildwood Movies 10 for the rest of the week, by special arrangement with DR!VEN.

Comments 10

  1. So what are you going to do about it? My guess is just complain and moan like Michael instead of taking any action to correct it. At least SOME politicians are giving it a shot. You are just sitting there whining. Get up off your rear and do something if you don’t like it. Thank your soldiers for giving you the right to complain about the healthcare that you at least get to choose what’s best for you rather than letting some doctor choose whether you are worth living or dying! How about counting our blessings, but I would guess you being a cynic probably don’t believe you have any.

  2. So what are you going to do about it? My guess is just complain and moan like Michael instead of taking any action to correct it. At least SOME politicians are giving it a shot. You are just sitting there whining. Get up off your rear and do something if you don’t like it. Thank your soldiers for giving you the right to complain about the healthcare that you at least get to choose what’s best for you rather than letting some doctor choose whether you are worth living or dying! How about counting our blessings, but I would guess you being a cynic probably don’t believe you have any.

  3. And a good welcome to you, and thank you for your kind and motivational greeting.

    In our current system, we already have doctors deciding who’s worth living or dying. They’re called “medical directors,” and they work for the insurance companies, stamping “denied” on one pre-approval application after another. They make money for their employers by keeping it from going toward doctors and hospitals actually engaged in giving care.

    I’m a grateful man who knows he’s been blessed many times over, and I’m politically active. One of my blessings is that my political representatives, from my assemblyman to my federal senators, are already active on this front, stopping just short of our president. I worked to help put someone else in the highest office of our land the last two times that decision came around, and I’ll work to support my chosen candidate this time too. I have been doing something about this and many other issues. The question is whether I (and my family, of course) now have the time and resources to step up that contribution.

    I also thank every soldier I come across. I don’t often agree with their boss’s decisions, but they have my utmost respect. Ask the ones who stop by here to say hi.

  4. Post
    Author

    And a good welcome to you, and thank you for your kind and motivational greeting.

    In our current system, we already have doctors deciding who’s worth living or dying. They’re called “medical directors,” and they work for the insurance companies, stamping “denied” on one pre-approval application after another. They make money for their employers by keeping it from going toward doctors and hospitals actually engaged in giving care.

    I’m a grateful man who knows he’s been blessed many times over, and I’m politically active. One of my blessings is that my political representatives, from my assemblyman to my federal senators, are already active on this front, stopping just short of our president. I worked to help put someone else in the highest office of our land the last two times that decision came around, and I’ll work to support my chosen candidate this time too. I have been doing something about this and many other issues. The question is whether I (and my family, of course) now have the time and resources to step up that contribution.

    I also thank every soldier I come across. I don’t often agree with their boss’s decisions, but they have my utmost respect. Ask the ones who stop by here to say hi.

  5. When it comes to health care, for me anyway, I find that this is one of those areas where the government needs to fiddle with the “invisible hand” a little. Something that Adam Smith new well, though those who haven’t read Wealth of Nations might disagree. Essentially, the rational economic choice can be reduced to the following equation (warning extremely reductive analysis follows). Pay or die. This is an exaggeration, to be sure, but only if you think pay or live a shorter less active life is a distinct difference from pay or die.

    In a nutshell, this is an equation that can lead (has led) to sky rocketing prices. Some of this is due to prior governmental interference (HMOs anyone? Clinton said they would save the day.). Some of it is due to lack of government oversight. Some is due to bizarre litigation and skyrocketing liability insurance prices. There are a lot of contributing factors to high prices, highlighted by both the left and the right. I guess that’s what makes this such a contentious issue as people think their side has the best solution when it is likely that their side has a part of the solution.

    As for “Sicko,” this falls into one of the “I wish this was a Ken Burns documentary instead of a Michael Moore film” categories. I didn’t like some of the comparisons he made or some of the data points he highlighted, but I’ve felt the same way about films/shows/articles from both the left and right in the past. If this does nothing, but get us to think critically (thus as more “rational” consumers) it will be a boon indeed.

  6. When it comes to health care, for me anyway, I find that this is one of those areas where the government needs to fiddle with the “invisible hand” a little. Something that Adam Smith new well, though those who haven’t read Wealth of Nations might disagree. Essentially, the rational economic choice can be reduced to the following equation (warning extremely reductive analysis follows). Pay or die. This is an exaggeration, to be sure, but only if you think pay or live a shorter less active life is a distinct difference from pay or die.

    In a nutshell, this is an equation that can lead (has led) to sky rocketing prices. Some of this is due to prior governmental interference (HMOs anyone? Clinton said they would save the day.). Some of it is due to lack of government oversight. Some is due to bizarre litigation and skyrocketing liability insurance prices. There are a lot of contributing factors to high prices, highlighted by both the left and the right. I guess that’s what makes this such a contentious issue as people think their side has the best solution when it is likely that their side has a part of the solution.

    As for “Sicko,” this falls into one of the “I wish this was a Ken Burns documentary instead of a Michael Moore film” categories. I didn’t like some of the comparisons he made or some of the data points he highlighted, but I’ve felt the same way about films/shows/articles from both the left and right in the past. If this does nothing, but get us to think critically (thus as more “rational” consumers) it will be a boon indeed.

  7. Thanks for the analysis, Christian. I have to agree that I’d prefer to see the issues laid out without all the posturing that seems to come with them from either side.

    While the system here in the States has been broken for a long time, the ramifications of that are reaching farther and deeper than before. That, hopefully, will be the impetus for change, although I don’t see that the current Congress and President will find a way to agree on any direction in which to go.

  8. Post
    Author

    Thanks for the analysis, Christian. I have to agree that I’d prefer to see the issues laid out without all the posturing that seems to come with them from either side.

    While the system here in the States has been broken for a long time, the ramifications of that are reaching farther and deeper than before. That, hopefully, will be the impetus for change, although I don’t see that the current Congress and President will find a way to agree on any direction in which to go.

  9. I had some database wonkiness today that torpedoed a few of the most recent comments. I dug them up out of my e-mail notifications and present them here en masse:

    Gnome wrote:

    Phew, happy Europe… thankfully we don’t just die on the streets over here… Anyway. Good film and thankfuly sparing us the populist prose of the 9/11 movie.

    Oh, and “thank your soldiers for giving you the right to complain about the healthcare”? Ahahahaha… Hahaha… Thank your soldiers? Really? HAHAHAHA

    and:

    BTW, great write-up Matt!

    Drew Bittner wrote:

    Hey Matt!

    Good to see you on Amazon! Didn’t get to see Sicko in the theaters but am not surprised by its conclusions. Health care in this country (as Kat would agree, having so many doctors and nurses in her family) is a mess. It needs drastic action. Hopefully we’ll see that happen one of these days.

    Hope all’s great– say hi to the family!

    Drew Bittner

    Rob Stone wrote:

    Wow, Ed and Connie, you don’t waste any time with your full frontal assault. My question for you is what have YOU done to change the healthcare system in the U.S? It’s real easy to assault Mr. Forbeck from behind the walls of your cyber-citadel. Enlighten us, please, with your solutions for the nation’s problems and then explain to me why you haven’t implemented them yourself. I suspect that like Matt and many of the rest of us you might have children, a job, and umpteen other committments that require 23 hours of your 24 hour day and you, like Mr. Forbeck count on your elected representatives to speak for you. Hmmmmm…..

    I responded to these, but my system doesn’t send my own replies to me, and I don’t have the time to dig through the MySQL database to fix everything. To sum up:

    Thanks for all the kind words, Gnome, Drew, and Rob!

  10. Post
    Author

    I had some database wonkiness today that torpedoed a few of the most recent comments. I dug them up out of my e-mail notifications and present them here en masse:

    Gnome wrote:

    Phew, happy Europe… thankfully we don’t just die on the streets over here… Anyway. Good film and thankfuly sparing us the populist prose of the 9/11 movie.

    Oh, and “thank your soldiers for giving you the right to complain about the healthcare”? Ahahahaha… Hahaha… Thank your soldiers? Really? HAHAHAHA

    and:

    BTW, great write-up Matt!

    Drew Bittner wrote:

    Hey Matt!

    Good to see you on Amazon! Didn’t get to see Sicko in the theaters but am not surprised by its conclusions. Health care in this country (as Kat would agree, having so many doctors and nurses in her family) is a mess. It needs drastic action. Hopefully we’ll see that happen one of these days.

    Hope all’s great– say hi to the family!

    Drew Bittner

    Rob Stone wrote:

    Wow, Ed and Connie, you don’t waste any time with your full frontal assault. My question for you is what have YOU done to change the healthcare system in the U.S? It’s real easy to assault Mr. Forbeck from behind the walls of your cyber-citadel. Enlighten us, please, with your solutions for the nation’s problems and then explain to me why you haven’t implemented them yourself. I suspect that like Matt and many of the rest of us you might have children, a job, and umpteen other committments that require 23 hours of your 24 hour day and you, like Mr. Forbeck count on your elected representatives to speak for you. Hmmmmm…..

    I responded to these, but my system doesn’t send my own replies to me, and I don’t have the time to dig through the MySQL database to fix everything. To sum up:

    Thanks for all the kind words, Gnome, Drew, and Rob!

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