I was informed by my physician that what I "thought" to be a cold was a bronchial infection bordering pneumonia and the physician told me without antibiotics I could wind up in the hospital. But then a good friend of mine once told me "I can afford to "die" because I have life insurance, only I just can't afford to get sick." I'll tell you what the "abuse" is. It is the over inflated prices of medical care and prescription medications. I only go to the doctor as a "last resort" (number one, I can't afford to take time off work for it). The LAST thing that I would go to any physician for is a so called "feel good" visit.
That is a blogger's response to noted film maker Michael Moore's "Sicko," a devastating indictment of the crisis in the US.
Moore has continued with his attacks on the ruling establishment. In a recent interview he blasted the top tier presidential candidates, none of whom have so far offered no radical solution to the issue.
Moore remarked bluntly, "These guys are bought and paid for by this industry," he said, "and that's why we're not going to have change as long as that system of money buying our politicians continues to exist in this country."
He also blasted the media for not asking tough questions on the issue.
He said that he was concerned that the health-care debate would go the way of the war debate. Had journalists confronted the government on its decision to invade Iraq, they could have saved thousands of lives.
"My point is that had ABC News, NBC News, CBS News been more aggressive in confronting the government with what they were telling us back in 2003 about Iraq, you might have prevented this war. You, this network, the other networks," Moore said. "Those 3,500 soldiers that are dead today may not have had to die had our news media done its job. ... My point is that the media didn't ask the questions."
Moore said he hoped that by asking questions Americans could effect change in the health-care system.
In "Sicko," he finds an uninsured patient who lost two fingers and, for financial reasons, is forced to make a choice about which one he wants reattached. Moore wants to eliminate debates like that by establishing a single-payer insurance system that is not profit-based.
"Every other Western industrialized country has single-payer health insurance except us," he said. "And [in] each of those countries, [citizens] live as long or longer than we do."
"Sicko" is filled with examples of free or virtually free care around the world, from cheap prescription drugs to free hospital stays. The movie features a British hospital in which the cashier gives money to patients with reduced means. He said American audiences would be shocked by how health care was handled in other countries.
Pending that solution, Moore thinks Americans need to do their part to avoid the health-care system in the first place. After "Sicko," he's come up with a personal plan to cut his health-care costs by losing weight: Call it less is Moore.
"I changed what I was eating not that radically," he said. "Guys like me from the Midwest, we're never going to go on diets or go to a spinning class."
Another commentator agreed with Moore's criticism and said that the Bush government had, for the last 6 1/2 years, been more interested in placating the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries, disregarding what was best for the American people.
"The average citizen cannot afford health insurance on their own and too often must choose between eating or buying needed medicine. There must be a middle ground between our situation today and socialized medicine!" he hoped. But the problem none such seems to be round the corner.