I saw “Sicko” last weekend. I wanted to share a few thoughts. I thought the most moving part of the film was when Moore took the 9/11 rescue workers to Cuba. I want to put aside the politics for a moment and just examine what was going on a human level, forget nations, races, etc.
In Cuba, trained professionals did the human thing, the moral thing and what they wanted to do; help them. Cuba wasn’t some bliss of medical care. It was obviously a poor nation. Despite that poverty, the doctors were free. Free to treat the patients to the best of their ability with the resources at their disposal. That property was present in the Canadian, English and French systems as well. I don’t feel that the Cubans, French, English or Canadians on average are innately more caring than Americans, but rather American health professionals are placed under constraints that make them less able to demonstrate their basic humanity unlike the other systems.
I don’t think Americans wants to dump old women on the street and I am not condemning the USC hospital directly, because I don’t think they are exceptionally bad, or unique in their plight. Accusing them of wrongdoing is pure scapegoating and ignoring our own complicity, the problem is the system not the actors.
I’ve looked at why health-care should be socialized before. Although, the other aspect that should be considered is the bureaucracy that exists to keep payouts of insurance companies down. I understand that there is a lot of gray area between preventing abuse and denying people care that they have honestly payed for. As “Sicko” demonstrated, people are dead today because of those very issues.
The fact of the matter is that when I have used social services I’ve been relatively happy, such as post office, library, education, or fire department. Nationalized health-care would seem to fall under the promote the general welfare aspect of the Constitution like those other services. They seem to keep costs down, and work well if they are adequately funded.
One of Bush’s proposed alternative solutions is Health Savings Accounts, which makes no sense to me. How could you save enough if you were in a serious automobile accident at 20, which might not have been your fault? Or if you developed cancer as a child? How would you know if you saved enough?
In my view, the reason why the free-market works generally is because individuals are able to do what they feel is right. The innovation to create things like “Elvis Collector Plates” which I don’t think anyone knew they wanted one until they saw one. But, health-care is about people, not things, and often the losses taken from not giving care can easily outweigh costs of giving the care if it weren’t for the temporary insolvency driven by exorbitant health-care costs. As other countries demonstrate, we can establish a health-care system that allows health-care professionals to better display their innate humanity while still providing them a lifestyle they deserve.