I saw Michael Moore's Sicko
It wasn't as bad as I was expecting, but I did think it was rather dishonest of him to not address the common complaints people have regarding Britain's NHS or Canada's health care system.
He didn't address issues regarding rate of taxation, how much people are taxed, who is actually paying for the health care system, etc. He also didn't address the complaints of those countries' citizens regarding their systems, such as those that have left their countries to come here and receive better treatment.
My position regarding federal-funding of universal health care has not changed at all, and I highly doubt that it ever will. Universal health care seems to be working fine in San Francisco and other local governments in the United States that have done it. That is fine by me. It should be up to the local governments, rather than the federal government, to decide on something like that.
San Francisco's universal health care system seems to be working well for them. Their policies are driving away small businesses that are just beyond the tax bracket that would save them from the increased rates that pay for the system - a complaint that is often touted by those in favor of such socialistic systems, but also a complaint that is inevitable within a progressive tax system such as ours. Nevertheless, San Francisco's system does, in fact, work.
Personally, I think a better solution would be to take away government protection of HMO's and leave the insurance companies to be subject to the civil court system and the dollar of the people. Moore's argument cries out against the suppression of choice by way of strong-arming via debt, but he fails to acknowledge that an alternative solution would be to simply get the government out of the system all together.
Moore tells us that the government is to blame for our current shithole of a system, and he even tells us that the leading voice in proposing universal health care (Hillary Clinton) was paid off by the lobbyists to keep her trap shut. He paints this terrible picture of our government and Hillary, but then he would have us believe that the government would be altruistic and caring when actually instating such a system.
Moore also fails to give us both sides. That's typical of him so I'm not going to knock him too much for that. I'll touch on some of the problems with universal health care, as viewed by some of the people within those systems. Here's an article from Guardian that discusses how people are leaving the UK and going to South Africa to seek treatment for their cancer because they don't get adequate treatment from NHS. [link] Here's a Google Group post about a guy that came to the United States and spent $100+k for treatment in order to avoid the poor quality health care that he was offered by NHS. [link]
Those are just two that I had on hand. I would have appreciated it if Moore would have found people in Britain that complain about the quality of service offered by NHS. That's not to say that I think Moore should have attempted to prove his opponents' agenda; rather, I'm saying Moore should have gathered the complaints from those people and then attempted to debunk them all. I would love for Moore to tell me why the people that leave to avoid NHS are making a bad decision. I really would. So why did those people leave NHS? Well, it's because NHS, much like our HMO's, refuses service to people that require expensive medication. As an example, they refuse service to cancer patients that are in need of new medication.
Think about the guy that is never sick, ever. Think about the guy that goes through his life, and only suffers from minor allergies and a common cold every now and then. He never goes to the doctor unless it's for a regular checkup. Now imagine that this guy is wealthy, so he's paying a lot into the system. At age forty, he gets diagnosed with a terminal disease that can be cured with modern medicine. Is it not unreasonable for him to think, "Well, I've paid so much into this system, now it's time for them to take care of me." ? Obviously that's an extreme hypothetical, but the point is to illustrate that the system is flawed. That guy paid for your health care. He paid for everyone's health care. He paid into the system. And the system fucked him over later.
His payments into the system were necessary to sustain the system. Without him, the system would collapse ... and that's the problem right there. When enough of those cases happen, and enough of the people that sustain the system have bad experiences with it, they will leave. When they leave, the system will collapse.
I do think that he raises awareness of the problems with letting the government get involved in the health care industry, so I give him a thumbs up for that. But at the same time, I think it's a rather defeatist position to advocate more government involvement in the health care industry, so I give him a thumbs down for that.