Ironically enough, I was stuck at home with a sick kid, which is about the only way I'm going to get time to watch a movie (or be able to wrestle the remote away from those determined to keep it on Spike or Noggin 24/7!) I like Michael Moore's movies, but I do admit, he sometimes exaggerates and omits info in order to make a point. (That's kinda how it goes when you want to make a point, so I don't consider that a bad thing in his work. It's like anything else, you watch it, but it's still up to you to learn all you can and consider all angles of the issue before you make your mind up.) I was really expecting this movie to be a little over-the-top, exaggerated, and making the problem out to be bigger than it really is.
However, I found it all to be a pretty logical take on the healthcare management industry, its corruption, and its ugliness. I'm not completely sold on socialized medicine, but the movie makes a lot of good points about why it works for other countries. (I still think our country is too greedy to make it work. Leave it to America to screw up a great idea.) Moore's movie centers around a group of 9/11 volunteers who have health issues stemming from 9/11, and who have been refused coverage. You won't believe where they finally get treatment they need, and how much it ends up costing them!
Of course, I'm watching this after getting royally screwed by my own insurance company. My middle son, Joseph, recently had to have surgery for an impacted tooth. The insurance company refuses to cover it because the doctor checked the box for "surgical extraction" and not "impaction." Even though he states in his paperwork that it was a badly impacted tooth and that immediate surgical removal of the tooth was medically necessary, because he didn't check that box, the insurance won't cover it. Seriously... that's the explanation I got when I called the insurance company to see why it wasn't covered. It all came down to which box was checked.]
The letter we got said:
Dear Mrs. Burch:
We have recieved a claim for a surgical procedure and are unable to provide coverage for this procedure because it costs us money. We highly recommend that next time your son has a dental issue, you get him to down a bottle of Jim Beam, grab a pair of pliers, and pull his tooth your own damn self.
Good luck with that!
Or something like that. (Good thing he didn't have a life-threatening illness! I would hate to see what they would recommend for a heart transplant!) So, yeah, I'm bitter, especially after so much of the family income goes straight to those bastages who say they can't pay for this sort of thing. I am tempted to take that amount of money each month and save it on my own. Even if our employers didn't match our contributions, we would at least be able to take our money and pay for our own medical expenses. Of course, it would wreck us in the case of catastrophic illness, but if they're not going to cover anything anyway, it's kind of a draw.
But I digress. After watching Moore's movie, I'm even angrier at the fact that this sort of crap goes on all the time and people aren't rioting in the streets. Regardless of how you feel about socialized medicine, I think that one thing should be obvious to everyone -- we need to fix the healthcare problem, and it needs to happen right now.
Even if you're not a Moore fan, I would highly recommend checking out this movie. Then, go out and do the research on your own and decide what you think should happen with our healthcare situation. And then, by all means, get out and do something about it. At the very least, vote. We've got to stop accepting the screwing that we get by politicians and corporations and start making this country a place where the common man (and woman) can afford to live in excellent health and happiness. We have no excuse for accepting anything less. This is America! If we can't afford healthcare, even for people who work fulltime and make decent money, something's definitely wrong.