Last night Brian and I went to see Sicko, Michael Moore's new movie. Now, as much as I agree with Moore's political leanings, I am not really his biggest fan in a theatrical sense. I think if he could tone it down just a tad and make less obviously leftist statements like calling Hillary Clinton "smart, sassy and sexy" he'd have a larger influence on his audience and probably on his country. That having been said, I am always very impressed with the amount of research that goes into his films. He must go through thousands of hours of tape to find just the right moment on C-Span when some congressman makes exactly the comment Moore needs to sew up his case. It's got to be pretty boring work.
Sicko didn't teach me anything about the state of American health care...I already knew it was pretty bad. Most Canadians, no matter from which end of the spectrum they adhere, will usually defend socialized medicine to the hilt. We are very attached to our health care system, despite all the complaining we do about it. I did learn a lot about European health care though and seeing how Europe and even Cuba do things made America's approach seems even more backwards and regressive. I have spoken with many friends from the States who have had bad experiences with health care and I've noticed that often, they don't even know that they're bad experiences. It's just life. Not being able to afford to have a baby? Like, literally not being able to afford to pay the hospital to keep you while you give birth? Not normal. Not good health care. Having to beg and plead and write a million and one documents to get insurance coverage for your obviously injured back? Not good health care. It's frustrating to me that Americans don't demand more. The country was built on forward-thinking, (for the most part) revolutionary ideas and it seems to have come to a grinding halt as of late. A French woman in the movie last night made a comment that I found very interesting and insightful, "In France, the government is afraid of the people, in America, the people are afraid of the government." How did things get that way? In America, the government and the people are supposed to be one in the same. Instead you have huge multi-nationals and lobby groups essentially dictating to the masses, and they don't even know it! It's beyond frustrating, it's sad.
I hope a lot of people see this movie and that it makes them think. Not that France, or Canada have it all figured out but that there is a better way, a way to make sure that everyone has equal access to health care and that the people who will benefit will be them, instead of the government. Does it come down to a fundamental disagreement about whose job it is to take care of the less fortunate? Americans are generous and kind...how they can they also leave their most vulnerable without basic necessities?
I'm glad Michael Moore is making the movies he does. I just wish the people who were watching them were the people who need to, rather than those who already know there's a problem.