(note to my sisters: this affects you and your children and every one you love. read it.)
We finally saw the Michael Moore movie Sicko this weekend. Have you seen it? If not, you should go rent it (or buy it) RIGHT NOW.
I've long felt that our nation's health care system is shamefully flawed. I don't know why we waited so long to see this movie as I'm a huge Michael Moore fan and here he is tackling one of my issues. Anyway. Here are some points:
Did you know that there are over 50 MILLION people in this country without health insurance?
Did you know that exorbitant medical expenses are the number 1 reason people file for bankruptcy in America?
Did you know that an insurance company can deny you new coverage if you've had so much as a YEAST INFECTION??
Did you know that the health care coverage in the United States is ranked #37 (#37?? Who the hell is ahead of us??) in the world by the World Health Organization and yet we spend almost twice as much as any other country, enough to cover everybody with excellent comprehensive health care?
And how about this: in France (those evil, non-war-supporting monsters), when a woman has a child, she gets SIX MONTHS off, paid fully by the government, to be with her child. If she wants an additional 6 months off (that's one year of maternity leave, ya'll), she gets paid 65% of her salary. And THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT SENDS SOMEONE TO YOUR HOUSE 2-4 TIMES A WEEK to answer questions about your child, DO YOUR LAUNDRY, or just babysit so that the new mother can run errands, go to appointments, have coffee with a friend or even, say, a massage!!
Did you know that in Canada, if you find out you have a brain-tumor (or breast cancer or anything else) you can have it taken care of, immediately and AT NO COST WHATSOEVER TO YOU?
Now. Let's talk about America. In just my own family, one of my sisters had breast cancer and she and her husband will be paying for JUST THEIR PORTION of her health-care for the rest of their lives. My mother, who raised 4 children and has worked her entire life paying into "the system" can not find a doctor who will accept Medicare. How is this legal??? They simply won't accept it because "it's too much trouble." I also have a niece who recently had a baby; she had to return to work while he was still in ICU because they couldn't afford for her to take more time off work. (see above about France's maternity-leave policy.) Are we, in action, a country of "family values"??
People argue that in Canada or France, you do pay for your health care in the form of higher taxes. So what??? Wouldn't you rather pay higher taxes and be able to walk into any doctor's office, for any ailment and be seen and treated immediately (NO, THEY DO NOT HAVE TO WAIT MONTHS TO SEE A DOCTOR. That is what the American government WANTS you to believe) AT NO COST TO YOU?
Ok, now for a really mind-blowing fact: in countries like England, DOCTORS ARE REWARDED FINANCIALLY FOR HELPING THEIR PATIENTS GET BETTER. Help someone stop smoking? Here's a bonus! Help a patient get better so that he needs LESS medication? Here's a bonus!
That's right, countries much poorer than ours believe that health care is a RIGHT, not a privelege.
The fact is, America's health-care system isn't working for us and it's not even working for the doctors. They hate it because there is too much red-tape and it eats away at their profit. The ONLY people it's benefiting is the CEOs of the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies.
Why is every single American NOT PISSED ABOUT THIS??? Why are we not rallying in the streets for change? Because, as someone in the movie pointed out, we are afraid and we have forgotten that our government is supposed to WORK FOR US. Not the other way around.
We deserve a national NON-PROFIT health care system that serves everyone.
There is a bill (H.R. 676) that has been proposed in Congress, to provide non-profit Medicare for All. It outlines a national health care program that will provide guaranteed affordable health care and prescription drugs to everyone in the country.
What can you do? Start by seeing the movie. Get pissed. Write your congressmen and urge them to support H.R. 676. Visit this web site: http://www.healthcare-now.org/
And vote accordingly.