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Well, I just watched Sicko.  It was quite interesting.  The premise is that Michael Moore creates a documentary on healthcare in the United States, comparing it to other countries with socialized healthcare such as France, Great Britain, Canada, and even Cuba.  Conclusion: Michael Moore hates American healthcare.

I often don’t agree with the things Michael Moore has to say, but he still managed to get a few good points in.  The part where he was extolling the virtues of Hillary Rodham Clinton did make me barf a little, but that’s alright.  I believe the part when he described her as “sexy” was really the clincher there.  It’s hard to take the rest of the movie seriously after that.

But seriously, he does inadvertently strike on a few good ideas.  It’s too bad he only does research for one side of the issue and either completely neglects or glosses over things that don’t fit with his agenda.

For example, he spends a great deal of time comparing healthcare in the U.S. with other countries like France.  Healthcare in France is free, you get long paid vacations, you can get a government nanny to your house for free to help take care of your baby, etc.  And he does point out that taxes must be very high to be able to pay for all this.

Then he finds a family with a nice flat and asks them how much they earn.  About a thousand dollars a month, is the reply.  They have a quite a nice apartment; it’s standard middle class.  The happy couple talk about the vacations they go on–and not once do they mention what kind of taxes they pay.  Avoiding the question, Mr. Moore.

This pattern was repeated several times in the course of the documentary, which rather bothered me.  If I’m going to watch something like this, I would like an unbiased report, or at least one who explores fully both sides of the issue.  He can have an opinion, but give the rest of us the chance to form our own.

It is very true that healthcare in many other countries is paid for through your taxes and not at the time of your visit.  I was rather struck by the Canadian golfer’s explanation that everyone needs to help others, that he willingly pays his taxes which go toward other people because they would do the same for him.

Now, I don’t know how prevalent this feeling is, but it is a nice one to have.  It almost made me want to pack up my bags and head across the border…

But here’s the other issue with this documentary.  These “case studies” of people in the U.S. who haven’t received healthcare or who have been denied by their insurance companies–these American healthcare horror stories–how prevalent is this overall?  I know for one that my insurance company paid for everything after I got on my car accident and had fractured ribs.  My grandfather’s insurance covered everything relating to his heart attack and associated medical problems.  Now why, Mr. Moore, didn’t I see even one story of a person whose healthcare request was approved?  Because Michael Moore didn’t want me to.

And what about these happy people in France, Great Britain, Cuba, and Canada?  I’m sure there are stories of people who ended up paying for healthcare.  I’m not entirely sure, and I certainly didn’t find out from Sicko, but I can make that assumption.  One lady said, at a restaurant in France when asked what they paid for their healthcare, “We get reimbursed.”  Now, the documentary made it sound as though they never paid a cent.  

And in an interview, a man (I don’t remember if he was from Canada or Great Britain) said that things were covered–with some exceptions.  Unfortunately, I never got to find out what those exceptions were.

So, overall, this documentary was food for thought, but it brought up more questions than it answered and left huge, gaping, bleeding holes in the logic and research in some areas.

Watch it, but watch it skeptically.  And skip through the part where he extolls Hillary Clinton’s numerous virtues.  They will make you violently ill.  I wonder how much he was paid to say those things…

Now, my duckies, don’t think I looooove the American healthcare system.  I don’t.  It has major, major issues.  However, I’m just trying to point out the flaws that I noticed in Moore’s logic.  There are probably flaws in my logic too, inadvertently.  

Final conclusion: don’t let yourself get brainwashed!  Think for yourself and research both sides of an issue.  Remember that everyone has an agenda.  

And that, I think, is a good thing to remember in this tumultuous election time.

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