Sicko Movie review
Sicko as a movie mainly focuses on the 250 million Americans who have access to medical insurance covers but do not benefit from; rather they are forced in to bankruptcy to cover their own medical bills. The American medical sector is predominantly owned by the private sector. He suggests that a system run by the government should be advocated for; basing his argument on examples from other industrialised countries such as Canada, France, Britain and others where by the state runs the medical insurance sector. This argument is demonstrated by anecdotes and data of horrible stories involving Americans deprived of medical care or driven in to bankruptcy to cater for their health care needs, grim insurance data relating to infant mortality and decreasing life expectancy, and of tragic statistics of dollars channelled towards presidential and political campaigns. Moore interviews individuals who have been entangled, sometimes terminally, in the bureaucratic quest for profits and also interviews individual that have made their livelihoods within the sector (Moore, 2007).
The movie does not describe anything that the general American citizen is unaware of. Each individual engaged with an insurance company for a medical cover can attest to the argument of the movie. Insurance companies collect monthly health insurance premiums, but fail to provide health insurance when they are actually required to do so. They always have reasons and excuses why they deny their clientele access to treatment, or drop their clients from policies for no specific or false reasons, to elderly individuals forced in to bankruptcy due to high premiums charged on them. Insurance companies deny claims because their clients suffer from various conditions which include diabetes and asthma, medical facilities deny treatment to persons whose insurance policy are not covered by the institution and insurance companies are known to deny claims for certain medical procedures such as bone marrow transplant, forcing patients to dig from their own pockets (Moore, 2007).
Health care plan providers are notorious for denying healthcare in the following ways; financially incapacitated by high premiums and deductibles, an old couple is forced to sell their matrimonial home to cover for their health costs and have to relocate to their daughter’s basement; cancelling of insurance plans due to lack of disclosure of previous medical conditions; forcing their clients to seek health care from specific facilities which may not necessarily be the nearest in case of emergencies; and refuse to honour claim related to various medical procedures (Moore, 2007).
Hillary Rodham Clinton was the chairperson of the task force set up by the bill Clinton administration to carry out reforms on the American health care system which had formed the basis of Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign. The task force was tasked with the formulation of a comprehensive health plan capable of providing universal health care to all American citizens. Hilary advocated for the expansion of the eligibility of state run children’s health care insurance policy, and suggested the awarding of bonuses to the states that were able to enrol the highest number of children in to the program. Unfortunately this policy document was shot down in congress (Moore, 2007).
The United States health care system is predominantly owned and controlled by the private sector, while the health care system in Cuba, France and England is predominantly controlled by the state. Although the United States spends the highest proportion of its gross budget on health care as compared to the other countries, the health care system in the other countries appear to be functioning better than the American health care system. One can not help but wonder if the approach taken by other industrialised nations on matters concerning health care should be adopted in the United States. Some aspects of the health care system seem to function better in other countries compared to the United States. The French SOS Medecins house call program is a good initiative that will go a long way to ensure access to emergency health care services in areas not covered by ambulance services (Moore, 2007).
Moore argues that the British, French and Cuban health systems are better compared to the American system but does not mention a considerable number of Britons have abandoned the state health care system for privately owned insurance schemes. When Moore presents an argument on Cuba as a model system to emulate it is highly satirical, Cuba is rated below the United States, spend about $300/citizen/year in health care provision and can not be an example to emulate. Moore portrays health care services in other countries as functioning better than the American system but does not reveal how much the citizens are taxed so as to receive these services (Moore, 2007).
It is a fact that the American health care system is not perfect. Moore’s movie clearly illustrates the flaws in the American health care system and goes further to suggest probably solutions to the problem. The movie by Michael Moore asserts that the United States system of privately owned medical health care insurance has been a huge failure. The United States health care system is collapsing and efforts should be taken to address the matter before it gets out of hand (Moore, 2007).
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