last modified: Friday, July 06, 2007 (10:28:19 AM)
Watched the new Michael Moore movie about the failing Medicare system in America and, as with all his movies, I'm left feeling hopeless and enraged. Why does every nation on earth have free medical care and we don't? Canada, France, even Cuba! They don't pay for doctor's visits, hospital stays, surgery, medicine, NOTHING! What is wrong with this picture? Why does America insist that "socialism medicine" is a bad thing?

What made me even more upset was the fact that these doctors in the UK, working in a "free-for-all" medical industry live in million dollar homes. So, no, they are not living in poverty and the system is not jammed with people to the point they can't cope. There's NO excuse for America not to have completely FREE medical care for everyone.

So, if you want to take action, please take a moment to click here

This is a collective effort to pass H.R. 676, which would extend and improve medicare (you know that thing that's taken out in taxes every pay check?) We pay for it, it's our right to have access to it when we're in need, regardless of age, gender or medical condition.

Go see SiCKO. It's eye opening and further proves that what happens in America, how we treat our own people, is just plain wrong. Utterly senseless. Watching heroes from 9-11 have to go to Cuba for medical care made me want to cry.
re: SiCKO.Friday, July 06, 2007 - 11:28:43 AM

The vast majority of the countries with free medical care have very, very small armies. Honestly, if we want to actually get some sort of medical system for the US (which I personally would prefer to a gigantic standing army) we need to cut costs in other places, and I honestly don''t see that happening considering the state of the US''s foreign affairs right now. >.<

re: SiCKO.Friday, July 06, 2007 - 11:33:17 AM

I''ve been to Cuba twice and both times had medical procedures done that me and my mother could NEVER afford out here in the states-- pretty sad. Despite whatever preconceived notions ppl may have about 3rd world countries you would be surprised how much more advanced their health care system and Dr''s are.
I agree.. theres no fucking excuse wfor the lack of care out here. :P

re: SiCKO.Friday, July 06, 2007 - 12:09:33 PM

How much are the other countries taxed though? Socialism = taking what I have and giving it to others. Might be a good philosophy to some, but the Constitution disagrees.

re: SiCKO.Friday, July 06, 2007 - 1:27:24 PM

Almost the largest portion of taxes taken out of every employed person''s paycheck in America is medicare. The problem is, these same people paying in do not have access to the medicare coverage they need. They''re paying for something they can''t even take advantage of. Claims are constantly being denied, costing the quality of life for people who are in desperate situations. America has the excess resources in order to have medicare coverage for everyone and overhaul the system. Making insurance a money making industry was the beginning of the end. Corporations are out to save money, denying claims is in their best interest and the government refuses to do anything about it.

Startyde, plenty of things in America have been socialized. Ever gotten a letter delivered by the USPS or checked out a book at your local library? Yeah, socialism is alive and well in America.

re: SiCKO.Friday, July 06, 2007 - 1:29:59 PM

We pay and get nothing. We all contribute to Social Security and Medicare and then get to pay for our insurance on top of that. To further compound the problem, most of the money we pay will never be used by us. Instead we look forward to a future without any kind of security or benefits. Couple that with high sales taxes, local taxes and state taxes and it is easy to realize how bad off we really are in terms of compensation for our hard work. We placate ourselves with dollar menus & iPhones, but all this doesn''t change the fact we are indentured servants to credit cards and various debts.

re: SiCKO.Friday, July 06, 2007 - 3:20:00 PM

Yes, but the healthcare is also horrid here. I live in Canada and people are literally dying waiting to see a doctor. In our town our ER is closed Monday-Friday due to lack of doctors. Our ER is CLOSED. That means to get help when we''re bleeding to death we have to go 2+ hours away to get care.
I say bring on privatization. You Americans don''t get the full story. Sure, it''s free, but what good is free when the government can''t pay the doctors enough to keep them here? They all left for the States where the money is better.

re: SiCKO.Friday, July 06, 2007 - 3:26:51 PM

Hm. The Canadian patients interviewed for the movie said they never had to wait for more than 30 minutes to an hour for medical attention. Several American citizens were shown hopping the border to Canada for free or discounted medical care. I don''t doubt what you''re saying is true, but there should be and has to be a happy medium. The cost of medical care and drugs is staggering. A ceiling could be installed if the government wanted to do such a thing, but corporations lobby congress not to take such actions.

The Canadians in the movie seemed pleased, but you''re absolutely right, nothing is perfect. I''m not suggesting "free" is perfect. But there has to be a movement to remodel the system. We''re paying for something that we''re not benefiting from. In the 1970s, Nixon introduced HMOs because it was a legitimate way to deny medical care to cut costs.

No situation is ideal, but things need to be improved.

re: SiCKO.Friday, July 06, 2007 - 5:14:18 PM

My mom who is about to turn 80, had a heart attack. She called an ambulance which drove her to the hospital. Medicare refused to pay for the ambulance because they stated that the ambulance ride was medically unnecessary because the medic that examined her didn''t write "heart attack" on her chart. Medicare said she should have driven herself.
I had insurance for my daughter when she was little and I took her to the emergency room in the middle of the night when she had a 104 degree temperature. We sat 4 hours before we found out that the hospital wouldn''t see her because they couldn''t reach her doctor to verify her insurance- that is, if they weren''t sure they were going to get paid, they didn''t care what happened to her. We ended taking her to an all night doctor and paid out of pocket to get her treated. Yeah, we may have hospitals here, but will they treat you? Even if they do, and you have insurance, will the insurance cover your treatment? I was sick in London and had no trouble getting treatment (for free!). Here I have no health insurance because I am self employed and have asthma so no one will cover me.

By the way, I was watching a morning TV news show recently, and a medical specialist stated that if you think you are having a heart attack, NEVER drive yourself to the hospital.

re: SiCKO.Friday, July 06, 2007 - 7:03:02 PM

It depends on where you live. In the Maritime provinces, especially New Brunswick and Nova Scotia (where I live) the medical system is at a crisis.
Richer places like Ontario, B.C., Alberta, etc. probably have great care.

re: SiCKO.Friday, July 06, 2007 - 9:54:21 PM

Like you Vapalla, I have lived with asthma and bronchial problems. My family owns their own business so we''ve never had insurance. When ever I suffered an acute asthma attack or breathing problem, I would have to wait for hours in the emergency room. One time, my face and fingers were literally blue from the lack of oxygen circulation. I was eventually treated, but I''ve always had to rely on county run facilities because you can deter payment for medical treatment. These determents can eventually show up as derogatory marks on your credit report if they are expensive enough.

A lot of Americans go without insurance and simply hope and pray they don''t get terminally ill.

If America and Canada had similar, if not the same, medical care/insurance systems, then it would remove the incentive for doctors to border-hop, as you mention Sletia. Money talks and people migrate to where the money is. If we restructured our system to where it wasn''t about the rich getting richer, the quality of care would have to improve.

America has a system in place, it''s just terribly flawed. Our health care system is ranked 37th in the world, right behind Costa Rica and before Slovenia. The infant mortality rate in America is worse than that of Singapore, the Czech Republic, Guernsey, Taiwan, Cuba, South Korea and many others.

re: SiCKO.Saturday, July 07, 2007 - 12:45:58 AM

In a sense, we are paying for other people''s health care right now. Our taxes go to welfare systems and medicare that we will, most likely, never use. Personally, I would not mind paying higher taxes for government health care if it was a good plan. As it is, I am paying $60 a month for my work plan. I am of the opinion that as long as my taxes are going to the right places, then I don''t mind paying the vig. With the money we have spent on the war already, we could have given total health care to every man, woman, and child in America for one year.

re: SiCKO.Thursday, July 12, 2007 - 11:36:49 AM

Been a while since I had a chance to reply. The long and the short of it is we already pay too much for gross inefficiency.

The US government does NOTHING efficient. Look at border security, passports, public education, even local law enforcement. They all say the same thing, throw money at it, and the more you do, the worse it gets.

Blindly giving more of what we earn in hope that somehow the big government machine will just take care of us down the road is foolish.

Competition drives innovation and prices. Government should be in the businesses of monitory such transactions and institutions, not being one. What if a government run clinic under a universal healthcare system did something wrong and killed a loved one? Whom would you sue? It''s the government.

It''s just a scary thought giving so much power to an entity you would ultimately have no control or say over.

As is, in Boston you can shoot someone dead in plain day and have an 89 percent chance of never being caught (2006 statistics). But if you''re late on taxes, the IRS will kick down your door and ruin your life forever. Something is terribly skewed.

re: SiCKO.Friday, July 13, 2007 - 11:59:08 PM

The point everyone is making is that a percentage of our income goes towards programs that we personally never benefit from. My tax dollars pay for someone''s food stamps and welfare, yet I cannot access the medicare dollars that come out of my pay check. It''s not a matter of throwing more money at a problem, it''s using the money that''s been pumped into the program since 1965. I think everyone can agree that more money is not the solution. We want that money back, obviously.

Just to clarify the definition of FREE medical care given in the movie and used by everyone here: no copay and no deductible. I think there was some rampant confusion about that. No one thinks that government programs are run on pixie dust and fairy farts.

The government already has too much power, as you cite with your IRS statement. The point is to hold the government (politicians) accountable for what they do with our money. We''re not supposed to allow them to abuse their power. There was a huge protest in TX over border control and citizenship. There was supposed to be follow-up protest but almost no one showed up. Political issues (or things that have been mistakenly made into political issues) loose steam here because people don''t care about anything for more than one month. Hell, that''s probably being too generous.

Ever try holding a hospital, insurance company or health care provider accountable for the death of a loved one? It''s not as easy as those pricey lawyer ads would have you believe. Especially when you can''t afford said pricey lawyer.

Too many unhappy Americans mean something is terribly skewed already.

re: SiCKO.Thursday, July 26, 2007 - 11:30:17 PM

Late as always, but very well spoken WC. I apologize for not understanding your view fully until now. I believe we''re pretty much in the same boat as far as opinions on the matter.

I too wish momentum for change would stay constant, but we need duel incomes to survive as is. Ironically, mostly the jobless and or unaccountable have time and or money, respectively, to lobby these days. The rest are trying to make ends meet and put their kids through school.

re: SiCKO.Thursday, July 26, 2007 - 11:30:44 PM

PS: I meant I am late as always, not you :P