sicko, and the american way

Posted on July 4, 2007. Filed under: Movies, Politics |

Brian and I saw Sicko last night and while I was aware of the Health Care and Insurance situation in the US, I wasn’t aware of some of the ludicrous denial statements (like you’re too young to have cervical cancer — are you kidding me?), or the doctor pay-offs, but I’m not surprised.

What shocked me, and what was I’m sure a very deliberate parallel within the film was meeting the parents of a family of four who had lost everything because they got sick. They certainly didn’t ask to become ill, nor did they expect to be living out their days in their daughter’s basement (in one room that wasn’t even cleaned out for them) but, even after watching the film in its entirety I’m most angry and frustrated with the children of this couple. I’m still angry with them.

Their son and daughter both made it quite clear that their parents were a burden and that they frankly could care less what happened to them so long as they didn’t have to take care of them. They were lazy and selfish and an apt representation of much of America. This family was a microcosm of American society and is so indicative of the overarching Health Care and Insurance industry’s mentality of “we don’t want to take care of you”. If your own children don’t want to take care of you and an HMO doesn’t want to take care of you then you are left on your own.

The rest of the countries depicted — the social welfare countries such as Canada, France and England have engraved into their psyche that you care for those who cannot care for themselves. It is imperative to act as a country to ensure health, safety and happiness of the greatest number of people, not to secure the wealth of the few elite at the top or the unethical drug and insurance companies. Even Cuba’s Health Care was represented in a fashionable manner — though you have to think that an inhaler costs only 5 cents in a country like Cuba because of communism. Capitalism — the American way is really what there is to blame for the lack of Universal Health care.

As a Canadian, despite my frustrations with the doctors that I have encountered (and that naturopathy isn’t covered under OHIP — well, not really, though it would be nice) I would gladly pay taxes into the system to ensure that we have a healthy nation and that if you’re sick the only thing you have to worry about is getting better not about whether you’re in the right hospital as you’re child dies, or if you should have had your illness pre-approved.

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One Response to “sicko, and the american way”

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I would like to see this movie. As a Canadian American (hee!) I have seen and used both healthcare systems, and I do strongly believe that Canada’s is far superior despite the complaints about it. I love that I don’t have to shell out a $25 co-pay every time I have to see my doctor. And that’s just the beginning of it!

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