Thursday, July 1, 2010
Sicko was the first Michael Moore documentary I saw, and I loved it. It totally opened my eyes to the issue of universal health care. Why is it that in the world's richest country, so many of us are without healthcare and thereby subsequently so afraid to seek medical help, which in turn delays treatment and racks up monumental debt? Why is it that so many of us are workaholics and fail to take care of ourselves? Why is it that the society shuns the idea of healthcare for all just because it has the slightest connotation of, god forbid, socialism? Why is it that people are willing to sacrifice the health of other people and in turn the society as a whole in the name of money? I swear there is a conspiracy going on...
What really spoke to me was the healthcare system in the European countries. I guess it's not just the healthcare system themselves, but the way their government is set up. They really try to take care of their people: minimum of 5 weeks paid vacation, extra (paid) vacation for honeymoon and sickness, government help for new mothers, less waiting time at the ER... Man, it almost wants to make me move to Europe! (The healthcare in Taiwan is similar with the cheap drugs and procedures, short waiting time at the ER. However, this makes the people abuse the system by going to the doctor and/or the hospital at the slightest discomfort and hoard drugs. So yes, there is a downside to everything.)
The other part that really stood out to me was the scene where Kaiser of Bellflower decided to drop off a patient still in her hospital gown, because she could not pay for her hospital bill. This was picked up by the street security camera on skid row. What kind of human being decides that this was all of a sudden acceptable?! I don't and can't comprehend the meaning of it all. I shared my frustration with a coworker and apparently, it is not all that uncommon (although I would hope improved since this documentary).
I work in healthcare. I see the case managers and the discharge planners working their butt off to get certain people discharged because of their insurance (or lack thereof). I get it - hospitals are a business. Healthcare is a business. And the point of any sort of business is to make money. I get it - but I don't agree with it. I wish there was some way that I could help with the situation, but what am I, a singular individual, supposed to do?
Watch this movie. It will certainly open your eyes.