I saw Michael Moores film 'Sicko' recently, it details the health care in several counties. It focuses on the USA, how private medical insurance companies operate. They actively seek to prove that patient’s policies are invalid, for example due to a pre existing condition. Hospitals check on insurance cover before treatment and kick people out if their cover runs out. Its shocking to see this sort of extremist capitalism.
Ive seen most of Michals films and read most of his books, he is a man of great talent. He is a campaigner, but also is in show business. He doest show those whose insurance successfully protects them, that would be very boring. We see the people who fall through the systems cracks, the single mum who was considered too young to have cancer so wasn’t eligible for help. There was a man who had to choose which finger to have attached when he accidentally sawed them off, he couldn’t afford both. There were people who volunteered to help search the ruins of the World Trade Centre, and had been sick since, but couldn’t afford to find out what was wrong with them.
A large group of these victims of private medicine attempt to briefly visit Guantanamo Bay to try and get treatment, then go to Cuba. Cuba is a poor country with free healthcare, and the USA has seen it as an enemy for many years, so a great choice for Moore. The group turns up and gets free treatment, and can buy cheap medicine that they couldn’t afford back home. He could have gone to Mexico to make a similar point, but Moore knows how to make an impact.
In Britain we have focused on the contrast between Moore praising the NHS and the sad reality of hospital infection and shortages we know. He interviews Tony Benn, whose reads the original plan for the NHS, there’s no comment when he mentions free Dental Treatment. He also goes to France to do something similar, but interviews Americans living their rather than locals.
It’s a great film from a great campaigner, as good as Bowling For Columbine, much better than Fahrenheit 9/11.
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