Sunday, July 08, 2007


Along with a lot of other folks around the country I saw Sicko last Saturday. It seems the reviews have been quite positive thus far. That positivity is well deserved. Though the movie very clearly bore the quirky signature of its director, the gotcha moments that typified earlier pieces were less common. He had only one gratuitously unrelated piece. It had nothing to due with healthcare whatsoever and was a direct shot at some guy who runs a website devoted to attacking Moore. Other than that, he stayed on message and presented a scathing critique of the US medical system and an impassioned plea for social democracy and universal healthcare.

The film, of course, was primarily propagandistic. It didn't cite statistics comparing wait times to see specialists in various countries but rather went abroad and chatted with folks in hand picked waiting rooms. Though the social scientist in me is annoyed with his general methodology, it certainly is emotionally moving and a tough argument to rebut with simple stats. That said, I do wish he had taken more time to rebuff some obvious counter attacks. He takes folks to Cuba for treatment but apparently went to a hospital catering largely to tourists and not typical of most hospitals in Cuba. It would have been preferable to leave Cuba out and compare our system solely with those in Canada, France, and the UK. Adding Cuba was a needless distraction and took away from the core point that as a wealthy industrialized superpower we can and should be doing a better job.

All told Moore did what other haven't been able to: he made a compelling case for universal healthcare that should appeal across class, ethnicity, and region. That was more than worth the price of admission.


At 7/08/2007 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone said to me "the canadian systm is terrible. you wait hours in the ER waiting room as there is a lack of doctors and nurses."

i retorted "that is identical to the US system. difference is in canada you don't get hit with an insanely high bill."

At 7/09/2007 , Blogger Jeffrey Dach MD said...

What is the real solution, if Michael Moore’s government sponsored universal health care is not the answer?

The crux of the "SICKO" documentary is the disconnect between our expectations and the reality of health care. We are expecting compassionate care from another human being, and instead we get a faceless corporation. The person behind the desk or window is an agent of a health care corporation, which is not a human being, whose primary goal is to increase corporate profit.

This is America, and corporate profit is good, the profit motive forming the basis America’s greatness. The basic problem is that a corporation is not a human being. Therein lies the fallacy of replacing a corporation with a government agency, neither of which is a human being, when what we really want is a human being to deliver compassionate health care, and assist in serious health care decisions.

Review of "SICKO", by Jeffrey Dach MD

Jeffrey Dach MD

At 7/09/2007 , Blogger BZ said...

What are you talking about? As far as I'm aware, health care is already delivered by human beings, just not to everyone who needs it.


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