Every Western nation but the US has free health care, this includes England, Canada, and France.
Sicko is brilliant, and I found it unsettling. Moore documents the inaccessible, expensive US health system where people lose their homes because of medical bills as contrasted with other countries where you just walk in and get quality health care for free.
He shows a US citizen who lost two fingertips in a circular saw accident. The hospital said $12,000 to reattach one, and $60,000 for the other. He could only afford to have one reattached. Yet a Canadian who lost all four fingers in a similar accident had them reattached and the cost to him was zero.
As for higher taxes, hey, I’d rather pay higher taxes and have free medical and college education like France does, and not the profits-above-all system we have in the US. Because that’s the problem. The profit motive. That needs to be eliminated so all the money goes for health care. Other countries have done so, and virtually every European country has better health care than the US.
From the World Health Organization
The U.S. health system spends a higher portion of its gross domestic product than any other country but ranks 37 out of 191 countries according to its performance.
“But the same report assessed Americans’ overall health at 72nd among 191 member nations included in the study,” says Wikipedia.
Los Angeles hospitals currently dump patients who can’t pay on skid row. That’s right, a cab just leaves them on a street corner, sometimes they’re still in hospital clothes with an IV tube attached. Moore rightly asks, what is wrong with us? Why do we not provide the same health care that other countries do? His answer – because other countries have a social contract where it is assumed everyone is in it together. This is quite unlike the vicious predatory selfishness and greed masquerading as capitalism that is practiced in the US.
Cuba comes off well in the movie. US citizens who were denied health care in the US received quality no-cost care there. One American found an inhaler that costs her $120 in the US, a price she can barely afford, was a mere 5 cents in Cuba.
You’ll have to see the movie to discover the one place on American soil where there is universal, free, quality health care. Trust me, you’ll not ever guess where…
In the movie, a US expat in France said the reason France has free health care and college is because the government fears the people versus the US where the people fear the government.
And that, perhaps, is the real message of Sicko.