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ChiefJoJo

"Sicko"

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I saw it on Monday night, and came away with a new perspective on healthcare. I am well aware that the healthcare issue in this film is not framed from a neutral perspective, and certainly there are many one-sided points in the film. The bottom line from me the current health care system--which is designed for profit-making and not for better coverage--does not effectively provide for it's citizens, is not sustainable given the rapid rise in industry costs. Not only do we have ~50M uninsured residents of this country (by itself, a huge problem), but the rising costs of health care coverage is eating away at the middle class. I was particularly apalled by the numbers of insured, working Americans featured in the film who were denied coverage and/or dropped by their insurance companies. It brought home from me just how fragile a system it is for most Americans.

Those of you who've seen it, what are your thoughts?

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I don't agree 100% with Michael Moore's idea of what should be done, but I believe he's done a great service in creating this film. Instead of focusing on the fine details, he provided real stories of problems people face daily.

He even brought to my attention something I didn't know about Hillary Clinton, that she's began to take a lot of pharmaceutical and insurance industry money. It makes me question whether Hillary has what it takes to face the health care crisis like she did a great job of in 1993.

We need universal health insurance in the United States. Its not a maybe, it IS a necessity. I don't believe it has to come from a government-only solution, but for those who don't believe the government shouldn't provide a basic level of universal insurance I totally disagree.

My ideal reform would be a system where the government provides free, universal health insurance through a network of doctors paid for by taxes. The system should be cost-controlled so that it is sustainable. These Medicare privatization programs that have begun in the past few years have actually began to make the program unsustainable and is designed to destroy what little universal coverage we already have...

But that does not mean we should make it illegal to purchase insurance outside the government provided health plan. That's what I disagree with regarding Moore, he probably wants to make private insurance illegal.

What I DO agree with him on is profit-based insurance companies for medically necessary procedures. We need major reforms that creates non-profit private health insurance for people to buy into if they choose. Non-profits still need to "turn a profit" but they shouldn't be allowed to reject coverage when claims are filed like the for-profit insurance. And they shouldn't be allowed to just deny people like for-profit insurance.

Ask any doctor, and they will tell you half their administrative red tape is re-filing claims with insurance companies that deny coverage.

Blue Cross Blue Shield, CIGNA, Aetna, and any of the other hundreds and hundreds of health insurance companies should be reorganized into non-profit health insurers that are regulated better.

We can do better, and if anyone on here wants to scream socialism and big government then I'll proudly provide links and information to prove it can be done in a mixed system not too different from what we have today.

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I'm curious as to the health care system in Massachusetts is going to work, since everyone is now mandated to at least have it. The state is providing health care to its poorest citizens, could this be the very slow start of something national and for everyone?

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I have not seen the movie yet, but plan on it.

I agree that there are problems with our heath care system. Does Moore mention anything about why people from around the world come to the US for health care instead of staying in their own country?

Also, why would anyone want to become a doctor if they were not going to get paid much? With malpractice insurance, possible criminal actions, a decade in college, and the realization and stress of knowing that your decisions may save or kill almost every person you come in contact with each day, I can see why they get paid as much as they do.

My biggest gripe is how much insurance companies are charged. (and then passed onto us as consumers) Single pills in a hospital are several times what it costs from CVS.

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I have not seen the movie yet, but plan on it.

I agree that there are problems with our heath care system. Does Moore mention anything about why people from around the world come to the US for health care instead of staying in their own country?

Also, why would anyone want to become a doctor if they were not going to get paid much? With malpractice insurance, possible criminal actions, a decade in college, and the realization and stress of knowing that your decisions may save or kill almost every person you come in contact with each day, I can see why they get paid as much as they do.

My biggest gripe is how much insurance companies are charged. (and then passed onto us as consumers) Single pills in a hospital are several times what it costs from CVS.

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There are a lot of myths in the medical establishment. One of those myths is that more people come to America from foreign sources for health care than Americans who seek care outside the USA.

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This isn't think tank information, this is raw data for the viewing.

The end results of mortality rates in the health system are a tale-tell sign of what works and what doesn't. You'll find right wing doctor organizations that want to protect for-profit insurance making an opposite assertion, but mortality rates are extremely important in finding a system that works.

Here's the stats I'm speaking of. Again, this information isn't right or left, its just raw data for the viewing.

US CDC:

http://209.217.72.34/HDAA/TableViewer/tabl...px?ReportId=222

Statistics Canada:

http://www40.statcan.ca/l01/cst01/health30a.htm

Many categories are comparable, but for the majority of categories that don't have to deal with eating habits and what-not, the Canadian system has a lower mortality rate.

Rates are per 100,000 people.

Breast Cancer mortality:

USA - 14.2

Canada - 12.8

Colorectal Cancer mortality:

USA - 18.9

Canada - 18.7

Overall Cancer mortality:

USA - 189

Canada - 173

In other words, Cancer mortality is similar in both nations. I heard some idiot call in on Larry King Live when Moore was being interviewed. This random caller injected the "fact" that cancer mortality was sky high in Canada, when in fact its a bit lower in most categories.

A big area is heart disease and heart attacks.

Heart disease mortality:

USA - 230

Canada - 126

Okay, if you're in the Canadian health system you're half as likely to die of a heart attack as you are in America. I know a lot of this is dependent upon eating and lifestyle, but that's a big difference.

Here's a category that isn't related to lifestyle because per capita, there are similar amounts of patients with HIV in each nation.

This category is an embarrassment.

HIV mortality per 100,000 people

USA - 4.7

Canada - 1.2

You are literally 4x more likely to die with HIV in the American health care system because of a lack of access to health services and life saving drugs. This is a shame, especially for the nation that self-proclaims to be the leader in HIV research.

The facts speak for themselves. In categories across the board, it shows the Canadian health system is more effective even with its problems. We just have more problems south of the border, and it shows.

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I tend to agree about other countries' health care systems. I saw the movie last weekend, and it just makes me want to move to Europe or to Canada even more than before.

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I wouldn't move to Europe, too distant from family and there are certain other societal issues that are far less desirable over there for my personal tastes that aren't related to politics, although I've long openly said that I'm actively seeking a move to Canada.

Canada is like a happy medium between the extremes found in United States and Europe in my opinion.

I find Americans misunderstand the Canadian use of the term "socialism" and also don't understand Canadian health care. The Canadian health system is nothing like what you found in the old Soviet union. Canadian doctors are individual business owners (for the most part, there are government doctors on a salary just like the USA has a few), and these individuals happen to file claims with the Canadian public health insurance companies that exist. Each province has a different system, and for what the program doesn't cover (which is highly elective surgeries and hospital extras like phone calls or pillows), you purchase private insurance or have an employment supplement.

The Canadian system is radically different from even the British NHS, in the NHS the doctors have a salary set by the government and its socialized medicine 100%. Although in Britain, people do have the free choice (if their employer provides, or they can afford personally) to purchase private health insurance and go to private hospitals. You don't have to go to the NHS hospital system if you have the means to pay for private care.

But the basic public system is always there regardless, and we don't have that in America.

Another big area of misunderstanding is pharmaceuticals. Many people mistake Canada's cost control structure as government ownership of the drug industry and also think that Canadian insurance covers drugs 100%. The fact is, Canadians rely on their employer unless their income/age qualifies them for drug coverage under government programs much like here in the USA.

The difference is that Health Canada has a subsidiary review board that allows for-profit drug companies to create a for-profit drug and place it on the market; however, the drug must be reviewed to show it can't be charged exponentially higher than what the R&D was used to create the drug.

In other words, their cost control structure provides for a healthy profit, but not as much price gouging. Therefore drugs in Canada are typically 25-50% lower for name brands (same for generics) and for certain drugs that are way over-priced in the USA the drugs can be even higher than 50% savings.

This is particularly true for very important drug categories such as cancer drugs (Tamoxifen is known for being less than half of what you pay in America) or HIV medications.

All of the right wing spin and misinformation that goes on in the United States is disheartening to say the least. They pretend the USA is the only nation with for-profit drug industry and that Americans pay for all the research.

The fact is that we're being price gouged by a majority of drug makers.

Living in Nashville, which for those that don't know is a large private health center for companies that have operations in the health industry, I've seen my share of pharmaceutical "sales reps" that make six-figure incomes for doing nothing other than selling drugs and signing deals with people/insurance groups/employers/etc. They don't perform a single bit of research or development, just pure 100% profit for selling the product.

I once knew a guy who worked maybe 3 days a week for a large pharmaceutical firm. He flew around the nation spending most of his week partying and going to the local bars on his corporate-paid flights and hotel rooms. The actual few days of the week he worked, he presented Xerox-color poster boards with all kinds of sales gimmicks to various insurance groups and employer groups and various accounts. When he sold an account that made $50k or $500k or god forbid hit the jackpot and land a $1 million account, he'd get a healthy commission based on top of his $65,000 base salary.

In other words, a sleazy salesman (think of an over-glorified car salesman) who flies around the nation meeting with insurance groups and selling Medicare plans to old people through group plans, works only a few days a week and makes a killing off sick people...

For the record, the Medicare plan that was passed with no price ceiling and "private" delivery of medications is nothing more than a big hand out to people just like the above! There's literally no government negotiating for lower prices what-so-ever.

While everyone deserves a good paying job for a hard day's work, even drug salesmen included, the amounts of waste in the industry are mind boggling.

When the actual scientists and biologists that do actual research and hard work to develop the drug are given salaries and incomes that are a fraction of the sleazeball salesmen just signing deals in board rooms, you know that there's massive waste that really is troubling.

Marketing tends to get far more money than research and development these days.

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^Also, I consider myself proud to be a born native American. I just don't subscribe to overly nationalistic ideology.

Something a lot of people of today don't realize is that a lot of the movers and shakers during the founding of this nation spent time in other nations and living abroad, moving back and forth, learning and tuning what they felt was right.

I don't consider myself a national philosopher, but I do subscribe to a multi-cultural belief system that trumps any strong nationalist belief. You can be a patriot and live abroad.

I especially believe this in a time where the nation isn't upholding what I see as core values the nation was built upon. The United States wasn't created so that corporate financial interests trump individual votes. The US wasn't created so that we can have faith-based initiatives paid for by government. The US certainly wasn't created to mature into one of the few industrial advanced societies that refuses to advance equal rights for gay individuals/couples such as myself. Invading nations that have little to do with national security, based on trumped up charges, and if we don't support it we're not patriotic?? Please....

I believe some of the same thoughts that Locke and the others did back in the day. We all have natural inalienable rights regardless of government. The rights of freedom don't know a religious or governmental boundary, and for the rights I'm speaking of we still have them even if government does not grant those rights.

In the USA we're free to be pissed off at our own government as much as any of them. And its good we can be pissed off at the USA, because when we get pissed off it moves us to change for the better.

We did away with slavery. We did away with segregation. We did away with treating women like property.

We can still improve and still fix things.

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I saw the movie last week and came away embarrassed and depressed. I'm not at all sure of what the answer is for overhauling a system that is as flawed as ours. Like one of the people in the film, I too had a claim rejected for an ambulance ride. It seems I should have called United Healthcare before I let the EMTs take me (via ambulance) from the car accident I was a passenger in. (Note to self: regain consciousness and call insurance provider before going to hospital when involved in accident or after failed internal system(s) make themselves known.) I fought with them for 6 months to get the claim paid. As a side note, the 4 mile journey from the Airport Freeway to Presbyterian Hospital (in Charlotte) cost just over $1,300.

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Guess what, Bush has threatened to veto a bill that would allow health insurance some 32 million uninsured children that will be uninsure come Sept. The currently enforced child healthcare plan will expire in September, and the new bill will expand this program. Bush's claim is the new plan would encourage more to drop private insurance to in favor of this program. :rolleyes:

Sounds to me that Mr. Bush is once again doing his best to protect his buddies in the insurance industry.

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Bush and the Republicans in Congress have become the road block to success.

*They are keeping a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq from being passed, which has been introduced in Congress no less than 7 times since Democrats took office in January. Democrats cannot overcome the 60 vote filibuster margin in the Senate and the veto of President Bush.

*He has vetoed Stem Cell Research to help save lives and promote medical science research.

*Bush and the Republicans have ignored calls for an new energy independence bill the Democrats have created through the Apollo Energy Initative

The list could go on and on.

But lets just be thankful that every new bill that comes up isn't some partial birth abortion scare, some religious based legislation, or some other stupid conservative special interest.

When the new Democratic Congress was elected on the slimest of margins, I knew we wouldn't get far, but at least the total embarrassment stopped.

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Bush and the Republicans in Congress have become the road block to success.

*They are keeping a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq from being passed, which has been introduced in Congress no less than 7 times since Democrats took office in January. Democrats cannot overcome the 60 vote filibuster margin in the Senate and the veto of President Bush.

*He has vetoed Stem Cell Research to help save lives and promote medical science research.

*Bush and the Republicans have ignored calls for an new energy independence bill the Democrats have created through the Apollo Energy Initative

The list could go on and on.

But lets just be thankful that every new bill that comes up isn't some partial birth abortion scare, some religious based legislation, or some other stupid conservative special interest.

When the new Democratic Congress was elected on the slimest of margins, I knew we wouldn't get far, but at least the total embarrassment stopped.

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Gotta love Republican apologists...

I've already outlined a few middle of the road examples.

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Guess what, Bush has threatened to veto a bill that would allow health insurance some 32 million uninsured children that will be uninsure come Sept. The currently enforced child healthcare plan will expire in September, and the new bill will expand this program. Bush's claim is the new plan would encourage more to drop private insurance to in favor of this program. :rolleyes:

Sounds to me that Mr. Bush is once again doing his best to protect his buddies in the insurance industry.

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Gotta love ideologues, we're all saints and they're all evil. That's what divides people. Mr. Moore is a great example of this.

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Not saying I support his veto threat cause I don't know all of the details, but I wonder how much "pork" and other things have been attached to the bill. There's probably money for some harmonica museum in Bumpkinville in it somewhere just so some Congressman can say he helped his district out. I just wish Congress would pass a bill with one thing in it. If it's a bill to do X, then let it do X, not X, Y, and Z.

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So are Bush, Cheney, and co. They have direct power over the direction of the government, while Moore is a filmmaker. Why are you blaming an entertainer for being divisive while defending policymakers who do the same thing?

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Most Americans are only exposed to the stories put forth by our state controlled media, ie. corporate controlled that will only present stories favorable to the status quo. Lets not forget the drug and insurance companies buy huge amounts of advertizing on all of the major networks. When someone like Moore makes a movie that exposes some of the truths about things that are not normally seen by the rather naive American public, I think there is a tendency to go into a state of denial and instead of facing the issues, (tough) it's better to attack the messenger (easy).

It is now considered un-American by many to challenge what the corporate world does and people gladly accept things in this country that are considered just outright wrong in the rest of the world. This includes off-shoring jobs, accomidating illegal aliens, lifestyles that can't be sustained in the long term, forcing "democracy" on people at the point of a gun, and how we manage health as a society.

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However if you don't think Moore has influence you are wrong. He's a hero to the left who eat up everything he pushes. All Moore has to do is say he is making a movie and will get huge amounts of publicity. If you are going to do a film and call it a documentary, then you should at the very least try and be fair by presenting both sides. Instead he just makes propaganda films. I find it hard to believe he really cares about those 9-11 workers; he just used them to make money. That's what it is all about with this man, it has little to do with the truth. I find his films to be more about entertainment, but weaker minded people may take it as the gospel.

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Moore's film runs on the premise that 'free' health care is a right and a function of government, if you don't believe that, then the 'debate' is over. The only alternative he provides to the current regulated health system is the system we see in France, Canada, and the United Kingdom. There are other alternatives, most notably the free market and the breaking of the AMA's stranglehold on access to drugs and medical care.

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Moore's film runs on the premise that 'free' health care is a right and a function of government, if you don't believe that, then the 'debate' is over. The only alternative he provides to the current regulated health system is the system we see in France, Canada, and the United Kingdom. There are other alternatives, most notably the free market and the breaking of the AMA's stranglehold on access to drugs and medical care.

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Government is for national defense, protecting property rights, and enforcing contracts. That's all. Again, we start with different premises.

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