Monday, July 09, 2007



So, I went to see "Sicko" on Friday. I try to never miss a Michael Moore film. This one was particuarly good and particularly eye-opening. I don't want to give too much away. I want you to go out and see it. Right away.

The film focused mostly on the those of us who have insurance and are still getting stung by the health system. I am a healthy white collar worker on an HMO and this film really got me worried. And I happen to think that it is really embarrassing that not only England, Canada and France take better care of their people than we do but also CUBA!!! (not that I really have anything against Cuba) When did we stop valuing our citizens? Did we ever?

I guess what bothered me the most about this film is that we are supposed to be a largely Christian nation but we don't invest in our people. Moore made a good point. We have free primary and secondary education, free libraries, free police and fire safety services...why not healthcare? Well, obviously we all know the answer to that. There is big money to be made in healthcare and insurance. I would be willing to bet that virtually every representative and senator on Capitol Hill has money in their pockets from some health interest.

I have always felt that it is not enough to be a Christian in name only. I think God wants us to go out and take care of one another. We cannot focus solely on the afterlife. We need to look around us and care for our fellow human beings. So, why aren't Christians up in arms demanding free healthcare for all? Wouldn't that be a real family value? Shouldn't Christians focus on investing in people rather than pharmaceutical companies? What the heck is wrong with us?

Maybe Moore just got me riled up. He has a habit of doing that. But I am honestly sick of all of this. I want to know that if I get cancer or some other major disease or health complication that I won't be dropped from my insurance or that I will have to go into debt just to pay for basic healthcare. Don't you?


Genevieve said...

I can't post titles right now either... not sure why!

I don't think you have to be Christian, though, to believe in taking care of others. I think it's more of a universal ideal...

Malady said...

Of course, you are right Vieve. I guess I was just trying to make the point that lots of people in our country go on and on about religion and yet they don't often really practice what they preach.

Genevieve said...

that is certainly true!

Gary said...

This discussion about 'Sicko' and our woeful healthcare system makes me think C.S. Lewis's "Mere Christianity", the book Malady, Purl, and I are discussing on our blog, Through the Wardrobe. Lewis says that for the human race to achive any degree of success (or even survival), we must address the three rules of morality:

1. Strive for fairness and harmony between individuals
2. Strive for harmony within ourselves
3. Consider what the general purpose of human life is

We often talk about the first rule, "fairness and harmony", but we usually don't do much about it.
But getting to the first rule means addressing the second and we are even less likely to do that. Then we really lose our way (if we even perceive it at all) when getting to the third rule. This is where Malady's point comes into sharp focus.

Perhaps healthcare CEOs could take a lesson from their colleagues in the technology sector. Oracle's Larry Ellison and Apple's Steve Jobs each earn $1.00 per year in salary. Instead, they make their zillions from stock options, which frees their companies' financial resources to be reinvested into their companies and the people who work for them.

Whether they know it or not (I'm not necessarily a fan of either guy), Ellison and Jobs are applying Lewis's third rule of morality in a small way. Further proof that Moore, Malady, and Genevieve are right when they say that investing in our people's health is a good investment.

Maybe Google needs to invest a few more bucks into Blogger. If you move your pointer about 1/4" inch higher in the "title" box than you normally do, you'll get a cursor. I discovered this on my own blog (the one Malady said is coming ANY DAY NOW).

cj said...

I wasn't going to get invovled in this discussion but one of your comments needs to be addressed:

"Moore made a good point. We have free primary and secondary education, free libraries, free police and fire safety services..."

Free? There is nothing whatsoever free about any of these services. They are paid for out of property taxes, which continue to escalate because people believe they are somehow entitled to these 'free' services.

I live on the border with Canada and they are so in love with their 'free' health care that they pay almost 20% in taxes (gst, pst) to cover it and they still come over to the American side to get health care they can't get in Canada.

Moore, as usual, over-simplfies things and states one side of the discussion.

There are two sides. You might like to take a look at the other one in this discussion.

Here's a good place to start:

And here's another one:


Malady said...

Hi CJ. You are absolutely correct. I was imprecise in my language. Those things are not free. They are subsidized by our taxes. But I think it's worth it. I happen to enjoy libraries, parks, lower education, emergency services, etc. And if I knew I could get decent health care and wouldn't have to fight with insurance companies or worry about becoming bankrupt over medical bills, I would be willing to pay more taxes. It's a trade-off. I don't believe that Canadians or the French have a perfect system. But we are nation full of intelligent, innovative people. Isn't it time we stood up and showed the world what a REAL healthcare system that offers coverage for EVERYONE looks like? I happen to believe that we can do it. There is something very wrong when people who HAVE insurance can lost their homes over medical costs. Do you think that's right?