I went to see Sicko last evening. Michael Moore's new documentary film about our broken
death health care system was sold out at Reading's Goggle Works theater. It wasn't a polite crowd but, then, this movie moves you. When video clips of George W. Bush come up there were audible hisses. When one of Dick Cheney came on screen the woman seated behind me uttered a phrase very similar to the one Cheney used to Patrick Leahy on the floor of the Senate but a bit more succinct and direct. She shortened it to two words.
I stood in the lobby waiting for friends so we could go to dinner. My friends were distributing fliers about the Family and Business Healthcare Security Act of 2007 to those leaving the theater explaining what they can do to fix our system. People all over Pennsylvania are doing this and, if you'd like to help this way please visit this website. This website explains the proposed new health care system for Pennsylvania. Gov. Rendell has promised he will sign this bill if the legislature passes it. A similar one was passed in California but vetoed by Gov. Schwarzenegger.
We all know about the crisis in
death health care, how 47 million Americans are uninsured and more losing their benefits and coverage every day. What most people don't understand, until they're seriously injured or fall ill, is how our for-profit health system screws us. Health care in the United States isn't a right, it's a business, a very profitable business. The more medicine and care companies deny you the more profit they earn. These companies aren't in business to insure you're treated when sick or injured, they're in business to make money, pure and simple.
The more medical care they authorize the less money they make so they hire thousands of employees whose sole job it is to deny you the health care you need. They don't like single payer, universal health care because this will put them out of business. Frankly I don't care if some doctor who has sold their soul to CIGNA, Blue Cross, Humana or HCA loses a job which consists of telling people with cancer they cannot get treatment. Good riddance. If you've ever dealt with these people you know why I feel this way.
Moore takes a number of people who thought they HAD insurance, good insurance, until something happened. They tell their horror stories of trying to get medical care and treatment and how their insurance companies denied them. Some of these people appeared in the film only via home movies because they died. The employees of these insurance companies should have been charged with manslaughter for their deaths. Their denials of care are nothing short of legalized murder for profit.
That's how our system works and why it is broken. Have no sympathy for health insurance workers who will have to find honest work after single payer health care is passed in this country. Pay no attention to the slew of media attacks the industry will launch against "socialized medicine." Universal health care is civilized medicine not socialized medicine. Government health care works marvelously all around the world and the horror stories the industry will pander are false. Do not allow them to fill you with fear. Go see Sicko and see for yourself how they work.
The most touching part of Sicko is when Moore speaks with three rescue workers from Ground Zero. These folks responded after the 9/11 attacks and are now seriously ill. They're ill because George W. Bush and his EPA lied to them saying the air at Ground Zero was safe when they already knew it wasn't. The rescue dogs were the first to show symptoms and die and now the rescue workers are ill.
The Bush Administration won't help them however. These heroes are trapped in a broken system and suffering. The perpetrators of that terrorist attack are alive and healthy however in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Our government, which runs very effective, efficient and good health care systems for its employees, veterans, senior citizens and the poor (60% of all Americans currently have government health care), provides comprehensive, free medical care to the prisoners at Gitmo. So Moore took these heroes to Gitmo for their medical care and was denied entrance. They then received free medical care in Cuba. Castro gave our 9/11 the medical care they desperately needed and that George W. Bush has denied them. It's powerful stuff. No wonder they're trying to demonize Michael Moore.
The mastermind of September 11th, Khalid Sheik Muhammad gets complete, free medical care at our prison in Cuba but the rescue workers, the heroes, are suffering and ill because we won't take care of them. This is how bad our system has become and how bad our priorities have become. Why? The health insurance industry owns Congress, they own the White House and they own our Governor and State Legislature. I've been pouring through campaign finance reports unearthing all the contributions and they're many.
Have you been denied treatment and medical care by an insurance company or Blue Cross? The two CEO's of Highmark and Independence in PA will make a combined $4.2 million this year. The Blues will spend millions more in advertising, commissions, campaign contributions and lobbying. The insurance industry will spend millions hiring people to deny you the care you desperately need. This is why private insurance overhead is 25% compared with 3% for government sponsored Medicare. When we get rid of the CEO salaries, the sales commissions, the advertising, the thousands of management bureaucrats whose sole job is to hope you die before they have to pay your medical bills (and many of you will), the duplication of adjusters, claims specialists and management guess what? We can use that money to give everyone complete, comprehensive medical care to everyone.
It won't be free. Nothing is free. You'll have to pay some premiums in the form of taxes. Government will collect your premiums when you pay your taxes then give those funds to a new agency charged with paying your doctors and other medical providers. Quick, simple and no one on staff whose sole job it is to tell you you cannot get medical care. No more denial letters, no more Pennsylvanians dying because they thought they had medical coverage. They did until they got sick.
To give you an example of what is already happening with the insurance industry and the Blues (really one and the same), Capital Blue Cross, right here in Pennsylvania, got caught this week distributing a memo about Sicko and how to deal with the issues the film exposes. You can read the complete memo at Michael Moore's website. The memo was written by Barclay Fitzpatrick, VP of Corporate Communications, Capital Blue Cross. Notice his title: Vice President of Corporate Communications. The Blues are great at trying to pull the wool over our eyes that they are non profit. The only thing about the Blues that is non profit is the fact that don't pay taxes on their earnings. The Blues DO earn money. Big Money. Take a look at the billions they keep in financial reserves and the millions they pay their top management then tell me, with a straight face, that they are non profit. I dare you. Fitzpatrick's own title at Blue Cross reveals it's a corporation. The Blues work the same way and employ the same methods as for profit insurance companies.
Go see Sicko then read a book called "Sick" by Jonathon Cohen. You'll learn how our broken
death health care system actually works and how it destroys people's lives and kills many people. 18,000 Americans die each year because they don't have health insurance. How many die in spite of having insurance? It only matters if it's you unless you're willing to do something. Now.