CorneliusOnpoint REVIEWS: Michael Moore's SICKO
Let the sickness begin. Instead of spending cash in search of the lucky 7's this past weekend at the casino, I wanted to spin the big movie wheel and ended up viewing Micheal Moore's latest foray into the consciouness of America. The documentary Sicko, showing locally at the Market Street theater, draws you into the maddening system of the U.S. healthcare industry and all it's players. From the onset of the first frame, I was hooked line and sinker, that we as vulnerable citizens were going to be sick about what we were to learn from the 100 plus minute film. And I was right. Moore's film is filled with an array of system surviors that openly express their dismay and disgust ranging from services rendered or either denied. I completely understand there pain since my own journey into the medical labaryinth which included denials from Arkansas Blue Cross, pre-exisiting caveat attachments from Answer Insurance, and the ultimate behemoth, Medicare. Yet, despite a 2 year odessey and 1 year wait, I recently successfully manuvered my way through the system. Neverthless, this film caused me to be even more intrigued at the broadness of problems, as well as, the depth of the tactics that some companies would embrace, meanwhile, caustically stating that they are not denying care but "payment for care." One such case involved a individual who had two fingers cut off in an accident and had to choose which of the two would be reattached to his hand. As a self payer (commonly known as those without insurance) he had to decide wether he could afford either $60,000 for his middle finger or $12,000 for his ring finger. Then, there was the case of a mother who was seeking care for her ailing daughter's heart condition at the nearest hospital, but was out of "network"(this term refers to either hospitals or doctors who are not apart of your insurance network) and was refused care. Subsequently, she was sent to another networked facility where her daughter later died. Disheartening as it may seems, Sicko actually takes it viewers on a roller coaster ride of emotions juxtaposed to comparative information and thought provoking insights about how alledgedly this crisis began and developed. Through further research I've learned that our health care mess has had a long and winding history that most American's are not educated about. However, Moore's rouges gallery of suspects include, politico Richard Nixon's support of for profit HMO's, big Pharma lobbiest, American Medical Association, a flip-floping Congress and you can't have controversy of any ilk without the Clinton Factor. Former President Clinton asked 1st lady H.R.C. to spearhead a health care initiative with Universal care as the ultimate goal. The measure would be ground breaking until critics piled on Lady Clinton with swiftness and disdain that she would assist with revolutionizing health care in the good ole US of A. How dare she!! The entire matter faded to black, but Moore reminds us that newly minted Seantor Clinton got on board the money train of Washington's medical lobby and the rest is history in the making. Even though I knew other countries had universal healthcare, I and probably most audience members had no clue as to the services extended in Canada, Great Britian or France. Especially the government Nanny's sent out to assist new mother's in France, the abundance of neighborhood clinics in Canada or Britain's reinbursement program for travel expenses of those who had to travel a distance to to get care. Who Knew!! Another glaring moment was 911 rescue workers being treated by Cuban doctors and recieving discounted medicines as honored guest almost made me become vaclemped. Although each countries system varies and isn't flawless, the bottom line is that they get the job done in providing FREE healthcare for it's citizens. As the credits rolled with audience appluase, I wondered did those who shared this experience with me get it or were they merely entertained for a Saturday afternoon as they retreat back to their safe cocoons of life. Moore's movie as far I was concerned was a "tipping point" moment for myself confirmed by the statement within the film that "as Democracy has been extended...our particiaption is vital to it's success!" The issue of health care in America is a complex web of components ranging from bombastic administraive decisions, out of wack cost, poor oversight, profits for shareholders, more pre-illness care, medical professionals and end users who are at the mercy of a system that can affect the quality of life on all levels. I highly encourage you, dear readers to see this film and make your own assessments. Once you've seen it, then send your represenatives or me a get well card, because I'm sick about it and you will be too!