Monday, November 19, 2007

*stepping up on to soap box*

(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:

And vote accordingly.


Dee said...

That's a talllll soapbox ! Michael Moore doesn't get all his facts right, exaggerates somewhat, but your general idea is RIGHT ON !
Atta girl. our health care pisses me off too. But its Medicare that is the problem. THAT needs to be fixed, not have all health care under that agency. For years they have paid a small portion of what my doctors bill. or denied it. as they did my eye surgery---as experimental. They have PAGES of reasons to deny.
There needs to be new and better health agency or new people to run it.

Jenna Z said...

How strange, we just watched it for the first time this weekend too! The videos of homeless patients being dropped off by taxi nearly made me bawl. I do agree that he exaggerates and basically presents his opinions as facts but the underlying truths can't be denied.

kate said...

I really don't believe that he exaggerates. That's what our government wants us to believe because what he points out is so outrageous. Is he inflammatory? Hell yes. But he knows his critics are going to say he's lying and and he can (and does) verify everything. CNN had done a story saying that he exaggerated his claims; he challenged them to go throught the statistics and find an error and they couldn't. They issued an apology.

I just think we've been told many, many lies by the people who stand to lose the most if we, as a nation, get as outraged as we should be. Profit simply does not belong in our health care system.

Jenna, I agree; that scene was awful, wasn't it? shameful....

Zundian said...

I think you misheard. French women get Six MONTHS of maternity leave, and can take an addition Six months at 65%.

I think the worst stories in the movie was the child who died because the HMO would cover basic anitbiotics and fever reduction treatments unless they were "in-network"

kate said...

You are absolutely's six months paid, up to a year.

Thanks so much for the correction!

jpogue said...

Non-profit Medicare for all? You may not think that's such a wonderful idea if you were on Medicare. I am (unfortunately) - and what a friggin' NIGHTMARE!!!! I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy! Our healthcare system definetly needs some work - but what part of our government doesn't?

I swear to Gob, Kate - I'm a Democrat - always have been - but I wouldn't take Michael Moore's word as gospel on the issues he stands for any more than I'd take Kermit the Frog's. You don't believe he exaggerates? I thought YOU were the one who sees BOTH sides of an issue! Is there really that much of a difference between a Democrat and a Liberal?


kate said...

Jod, I don't take his word as gospel. I know he puts a spin on things to present them to make his point. But I do believe the numbers, which come from places like the World Health Organization etc. And I also believe what I see, which is that our health care system IS NOT WORKING. No one had to convince me of that.

As for the Medicare for All, the reason Medicare doesn't work now is because it is sharing the market with privatized insurance. If every person in the country was covered under a single-pay system, it would work (as it does in Canada and France etc.) because the profit would not be part of the picture.

jpogue said...


Linda, aka "Lala" said...

The thought of having all our health care under the umbrella of Medicare scares the SHIT outta me.

Yes we need work, but it's got to be the right fix. Gob forbide we make it worse!!!

Linda, aka "Lala" said...

Jodi, this post is giving me a nose bleed, and I'm feelin' kinda dizzy too....

I think I need to go to the doctor...


Anonymous said...

Dizzy? Nose bleed? That will be $864, please. IF you're lucky enough to get in before you bleed to death.