Last Saturday night Michael Moore’s new movie, Sicko, appeared at sneak previews in 49 cities; Phoenix was among them, and it sold out.
Sicko is a cinematic indictment of the American healthcare system where three times more is spent on healthcare as other industrialized nations ($7,129 per capita), yet our system performs poorly in comparison. It still leaves 15% of all Americans with no health insurance at all, and at least twice that number are inadequately insured.
This movie is a battle cry for reform. Michael Moore’s prescription is a single-payer system with the government as insurer that would guarantee access to health care for all Americans. Streamlining payment through a single nonprofit payer would save more than $350 billion a year — enough to provide comprehensive care for all Americans.
This movie will galvanize support for reform legislation; of course, the insurance, pharmaceutical and for-profit hospital industries are closing ranks. They say we are not interested in the socialized health systems of Canada, Cuba, France and Britain (all of which are extolled in the film). They say we need a uniquely American free-market solution, because, “In America, you wait in line to see a movie. In a government-run health care system, you wait to see a doctor.”
Do not be dissuaded by these attempts to create the specter of “long waits for rationed care.” Some of us will have to wait longer to get seen; some of us (you can be sure in a free-market economy) will get seen on demand, but at least everybody will get seen.
We finally get a chance to reject an insurance company claim (an industry by the way that takes 31% of every healthcare dollar for administrative costs). Let’s do it! Go see this movie and let it make you a campaigner for reform. Write to your legislators, demand support from Presidential candidates . . . Go Michael, Go Sicko!