Saturday, June 30, 2007

sicko (II). to be continued.

Michael Moore's film Sicko talks about health care in the US, and makes comparisons with the situation in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Cuba.

In the US power over health care lies with the insurance companies. In countries like Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Cuba, that have national health care systems, the general idea has been to take care of people, all citizens, to costs they can afford.

Growing up in Sweden I have enjoyed a free education, and free health care. Sitting in the movie theater in California, surrounded by nurses dressed in made-for-the-day scrubs saying "RNs present Michael Moore's Sicko", I was shocked.

I was shocked by the gasps. These Americans gasped over facts that to me are normal and natural. Such as:

- If you are asked about preexisting conditions, it is because the health care system wants to know how best they can help you, not because they want to find a reason to cancel your insurance.
- Britain has a flat rate for filling subscriptions (GBP 6.65).
- In the words of British Labour politician Tony Benn, "if you can find money to kill people, you can find money to take care of them".
- An older Canadian gentleman, member of the Conservative party, freely will use the word solidarity to explain why he thinks it's fair that those who can afford it pay taxes to make sure all citizens get the care they need.

I am still in shock.

-- And I actually mean that. I need to think about this more.

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