Sicko, and an interesting article…

I saw Sicko over the weekend, and thought it was an excellent, if thoroughly depressing, film. I thought it was an excellent piece of polemic for those of us who basically agreed with him. It’s much harder me to tell what impact it would have for those who don’t already agree that the US health care system is fundamentally broken… or for those who think that moving things to a more laissez-faire free market is the solution.

I’d be curious what other folks think.

On a board I read, someone posted the link to this article where an EM physician responds to the film. The person posted it as a disagreement, but while he does take Moore to task for issues he doesn’t address, by and large I think it’s more of a valuable addendum:

Article is at: I Treat the Patients Michael Moore Forgot

In order to keep the length of my quoting reasonable, let me grab the part from the middle where I think he and Moore basically are saying the same thing:

Many Americans oppose a single-payer health care system. My support of this initiative has grown from witnessing inequities daily through years in an emergency room.

I hear the concern about such a system; people worry that they won’t get what they need, that the government will ration health care. But in fact, that’s exactly what we have right now. It’s just a little more subtle, a form of rationing that’s based on a person’s ability to endure hours of anxiety in the ER, to wait for the next medical appointment, to afford high-quality insurance.

So how can we have a public discussion about this subject? This country has limited resources to devote to health care. But it also is saddled with an inefficient health care system that gives advantages to the privileged and well-off while ignoring preventive care and abandoning those most in need.

And in a separate note, Marie found a response from Kaiser Permanente to the film:
Kaiser Permanente’s Prominent Role in American Health Care Reform

In this context, Kaiser Permanente’s portrayal in a new movie, “Sicko,” must be corrected. While Kaiser Permanente has always (and will always) welcome new voices to the incredibly important discussion of health care reform, Kaiser Permanente’s 8.7 million members, the communities Kaiser Permanente serves, and the country as a whole, deserve to hear facts that should help clear up misconceptions created by the movie.

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