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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Movie Review: SiCKO

My friend Wendy wrote this review of the movie SiCKO. Reprinted with permission...

One of my most favorite bumper stickers is "If you're not infuriated, you're not paying attention!" Once again, we have another topic which is dire here in the United States - Healthcare. I just got back from opening night of Michael Moore's film "SICKO". I highly recommend each of you see it and remember political power is keeping it from being shown in suburban theatres because our government is trying to control the peoples reaction to this great film/documentary.

Let me give you a brief review of the film. We have been lied to by the government and media. Canadians are thrilled with their healthcare system and they wait 20 MINUTES in their emergency rooms and we wait 6 HOURS here in St. Paul!!! They pay NOTHING for their healthcare and love it. They buy policies when they visit the U.S. out of fear of our exorbitant costs in case they get injured or sick while here. England, France and Cuba have the same wonderful healthcare system and all their citizens enjoy better health and longevity than Americans! The doctors have nothing to complain about either, they still drive Audi's and live in 1 million dollar homes. They would refuse to work in our healthcare system! They would never turn a patient away for any insurance or financial reasons. Our Congress has been bought by the Pharmaceutical Companies and the American Medical Association with price tags of $78,000 up to $898,000 per person in donations to their campaigns. This is SICK! People have lost their homes and many have died because of insurance refusing to pay for care or because of restrictions on the care needed.

How much more do you need to know? Well, you can continue to live in complacency or vote for people who support single payer systems of healthcare/universal healthcare for ALL!

Furthermore, Michael Moore includes the facts in his documentary that in the U.S. other countries know we are afraid of our government and they work hard to control us, through healthcare, through making us pay for education and through making us pay for daycare. Get the people in the juggler philosophy! In France, education is paid for, the government provides nannies to families and they have free healthcare. For those of you who say "American...love it or leave it" I say what Ralph Nader's Father told people and that is,"Do you love your country?" Most would respond yes to that. Then do something to make it better! And we certainly could do a lot to make this country a ton better! In France, the government is afraid of the people and that is why there it is a government for and by the people. We lost that a long time ago and we have a ton of work to do to restore our democracy for and by the people and stop this from being a political system run by CAPITALISM! All in the name of profit!

Recommend you see the movie and think about your ability to help those who cannot help themselves.


At Sat Jun 30, 04:54:00 PM CDT, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

There was a preview for a movie 11th hour with Leonardo DiCaprio that looks like a must-see:


It offers hope for human species survival.

At Sun Jul 01, 01:20:00 PM CDT, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

This is from my cousin George who lives in Norway...

Tom Cleland
Golden Valley

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, July 01, 2007 2:32 AM
Subject: SV: SICKO

Hi All,

For those of you who don't know me, I am an American who lives in Norway. Haven't seen the documentary. I would like to pass on my FIRST PERSON observations on how things work over here.

Norway has a cradle to grave health system for all.

By and large, it functions well. Our family has always gotten good quality care, a decent choice of doctors, reasonable waiting times, etc.

The government takes the long view when it comes to health. There are all kinds of things that babies get here - because they have shown to have a positive long term effect on health.

Healthy people are a country's greatest asset. They are cheap to maintain and productive.

You can still buy superior medical coverage. There are a ton of private clinics, etc. Doctors who want to rake it in will often have a regular govt. job, and then do extra hours at a private clinic. These private clinics also are a safety valve for the govt. institutions. If the govt. institutions get behind in their treatments, they can elect to send people to the private clinics. Also, you can buy extended care from an insurance company. I work for myself, so down time of any sort is BAD news. I have a cheap little plan that extends coverage of some things, makes sure I get a spot for an exam asap somewhere in the system, etc.


The pharmecuetical companies have a pretty good hold on the M.D.s here as well. The result is that they prescribe medicine no matter what - even when a visit to a chiropractor or psychologist would be a better bet.

I would like to see a good set of American malpractice lawyers hovering around cancer treatment for about two years. That would be enough to get this particular group of people to "work together" a lot better. Also, cancer medicines that have been approved for use for 10 years in the U.S. are sometimes not in use here in Norway, due to some sort of red tape.

Sweden has a hybrid system that could work well in the United States. Basically, the govt. guarantees the health care to the people, but contracts private institutions to do the job.


My wife refused to have our kids anywhere else but Norway - because of the social safety net in Norway, including health. After 14 years here, I now understand why.

Clearly, I pay more taxes here than in the states. But I can tell my boss to go take a hike, without losing health coverage for my family. That I call freedom.

I have friends in the states who are in really nasty vicious circles, with one of the components being lack of health care. It isn't helping anybody to have so many people sick, and with no end in sight.


----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, July 01, 2007 11:27 AM
Subject: SV: SICKO

Hi Tom,

I have reflected on what I wrote, and feel a few more bits of info are necessary. They complete my perspective. Feel free to forward, etc.

If a national health plan is so great, why hasn't the U.S.A. enacted one? Here is where come less into merit and more into differences between countries.

First of all, Norway has only 4 million people. No matter how you slice it, something like a nationalized health program is probably going to be easier to deal with when it comes to small numbers.

Second of all, the primary political direction in Norway is still basically Rooseveldtian.
Third of all, socialism is a part of the political landscape here, not fringe.
And fourth, I once talked to a sociologist who stated that Scandinavian style socialism seems to work best in countries that are predominantly Lutheran, and they are not sure why.

So where does that put the U.S.A.? Well first of all, the Reagan era may finally be giving way. Or at least the Democrats have gotten some nice numbers since Iraq. But the U.S.A. will probably need to evolve as a whole to get anything done nationally, not just move a couple of points to the left.

The red/blue retro/metro divide cannot be underestimated. In many ways, the blue states, Canada, and western Europe have more in common than the red and blue states. Do people in cities need more socialism than people in rural areas? Maybe so. Rural areas in the states have traditions of neighboring farms helping each other, with the local church HEAVILY involved in filling the gaps. [All this is speculation on my part.]m

There is another thing that I have become more aware of living outside of the country: Do not underestimate how much the civil war still affects the United States.

A big cultural difference between Norwegians and Americans: The average Norwegian wants little to do with organized religion. It is looked upon with much suspicion. At the same time, Norway has a state church. Americans, on the other hand, are the most churchgoing population in the world. However the government is looked upon with suspicion by many.

So my honest opinion is that we aren't going to get anywhere trying for a national health system. Build it state by state. Let the red states figure out it is a good idea in 2050. In the meantime, let's get the northern states moving in the right direction.

Now, what about the insurance companies, the pharmeceutical industry, and the existing medical profression? There is no way you are going to be able to toss them out. Set up some kind of law that covers the people who don't have insurance, fit it into the existing framework, one way or the other. Regardless, the United States is full of private enterprise - and is most comfortable with that way of doing things.

Once again, My 2 cents


At Sun Jul 01, 11:36:00 PM CDT, Blogger Renegade Eye said...

I thought SICKO was easily Moore's best film. It was more focused than Fahrenheit.

I was glad it didn't give the Democrats a pass.

The scenes from Cuba were touching.

At Mon Jul 02, 01:03:00 PM CDT, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

Thanks Marv. Here's one from Ted in Ohio:

I agree that corporate lobby groups for the health insurance industry have done a good job of distorting the truth about socialized medicine. My very wealthy Canadian M.D. cousin wouldn't be working in a healthcare system if it was so flawed as the propaganda has so often purported. Like you mention the fears about second rate healthcare, long waits and unmotivated healthcare workers are myths and the American public deserve the truth. It's sad that the major theatre chains won't be showing the film.


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