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The Sad Truth About American Medicine

If anyone still thinks that Michael Moore's "Sicko" was an inaccurate portrait of the state of health care in the United States, they better read this incredibly sad story and think long and hard about its meaning.

Here is a man who cares deeply about his wife and cannot bear to see her suffer.  He could no longer afford the $800 per week her medications were costing.  All the system could offer was a long drop off the balcony for her, and a lifetime in jail for him.  Truly sickening.

August 16, 2007 in America Inc, Bush Administration, Capitalism, Right wing, US Medical System | Permalink


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Greeting from Cousin to your South, ;-)

Even I, leaning a bit conservative decided to see the Moore film and loved its message and depiction of America’s health care problem.

However, much of Michael's story was flawed; failing to represent the darker side of the Canadian, French and U.K. health care systems which we all know exists.

When it comes right down to it, what works for Canada, (and God bless Canada for having such a system) does not necessarily translate in America. The culture is entirely different, our nation is much larger in populace and implementing such a system overnight or even over a decade is nearly impossible; though reforms should and MUST be made.

Our failure in providing better access to health care for poor and working class people here is undeniable; but at the same time, people here simply must not wait months or years for vital medical procedures, a situation all too common in places like Canada. And while many Americans find it hard or even impossible to buy the medications they need, (my own parents among them), health care is STILL accessible on most levels and new programs are beginning to help people with the medications they need, regardless of ability to pay.

It isn't perfect and it needs to be fixed, but America has among the best if not THE best health care and technological advances in medicine and medical research than any other nation thanks primarily to our system of privatization.

It's a double-edged sword and one which should be fine-tuned; but you cannot blame the problem on one President or Congress.

All the best,
Boston, MA

Posted by: Jay | Aug 25, 2007 6:28:10 AM

Thanks for the comment,Jay. It seems to me that American intellectuals generally over-value "the best" or "most advanced", and significantly under-value accessibility and equality of service. Most of the western world has chosen to make A- quality services available to everyone, while, virtually alone, the USA has chosen the path of having A+ services available to a few at the cost of creating a system that denies even C+ services to the majority.

You say "people here simply must not wait months or years for vital medical procedures" as you suggest we do in Canada and France and the UK and Cuba First, you exaggerate the "waiting list" issue in Canada at least. Second, you ignore the fact that life-saving medical procedures are denied to those unable to pay every single day in the United States. Americans who are denied do not have to wait just a couple of months for a hip replacement, say; they have to wait quite literally for the rest of their lives.

I believe the US medical system is one of the most perfect examples of the basic evils of capitalism. As Chomsky puts it: "Freedom without opportunity is a devil's curse." Yes, you have the freedom to buy the very best and most advanced medical procedures in the world, but most of you will never have the opportunity to afford them.

Posted by: Jak | Aug 25, 2007 8:09:02 AM

Accessibility has been already settled. But only that is needed, but also the 100% convenience of the beneficiaries.

Posted by: resveratrol | Jun 21, 2011 1:13:04 AM