About Michael Moore’s ‘SiCKO’

Linked with Michael Moore’s ‘SiCKO’ Trailer.

Arthur Caplan, Ph.D.’s article: ‘Nothing funny about ‘Sicko’ state of health care – Gitmo prisoners get better medical treatment than Sept. 11 rescue workers’

Published on mnsbc, June 28, 2007.

2 excerpts: … But “Sicko,” which opens nationwide Friday, is not funny. It is tragic. You should not come out of the movie theater smiling. You should leave angry. “Sicko” is right on target about the mess that is American health care.

Moore’s critics would like you to believe “Sicko” is slicko. Those with vested interests in preserving the current status quo in health care have already activated their lobbyists, media flacks, think-tank mouthpieces and trade organizations to go after Moore and his movie. (There are nearly $2 trillion worth of vested interests out there in insurance, managed care, hospitals, doctors, advertisers and salespeople looking to keep their share of the health care pot of gold.)

But there’s no disputing the key flaws in our system that “Sicko” makes abundantly clear: Nearly one in five Americans doesn’t have health insurance. And even those with insurance often face incredible and sometimes lethal hurdles to adequate health care — from crushing out-of-pocket expenses and co-payments to snail-like bureaucracies unresponsive to the needs of their clients (usually by design in the hope that they simply go away).

As if that’s not trouble enough, your doctor may be motivated to deny medical care as he climbs the corporate ladder. Your employer could go bankrupt and leave retirees high and dry. Insurance companies may deny your claim and drop coverage for pre-existing conditions …

… If you think Moore is exaggerating the woes of the health care system and if you think — as his often bought and paid-for critics charge — that he is just a sloppy, overfed left-wing ideologue, then go down to your local hospital emergency room or nursing home and tell it to those waiting there for care and compassion. Except for luck and a few ticks of the clock, they might be you. If Moore’s call to action is not heeded, such a visit tells you all you need to know about what awaits you in terms of health care in America. Nothing funny at all about that. (full text).

(Arthur Caplan, Ph.D., is director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania).

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