My husband and I just came back from watching the new Michael Moore film - Sicko
- which was mysteriously billed as a comedy at our local theatre (if only!). I'm not a political person - I'm ashamed to say that I've only voted in one election - but this movie really must be seen by everyone in the U.S.
As usual, Michael Moore overdoes it - he certainly tends to oversimplify the situation until all the shades of grey disappear and you're left with just black and white - but I think the issues he touches on should be discussed and debated and pondered, both by people in power and by the electorate that puts them there.
A really good Slate article
analyzes some of Moore's missteps in the film while acknowledging that it highlights real and disturbing attributes of our failing system.
In my own mini version of Sicko
, I just received a letter from my insurance company - Blue Horizon of New Jersey - denying further visits to my physical therapist for treating my knees. They had only approved 9 visits which amounts to a month of therapy, hardly enough, in my and my therapist's view, to even begin to address the problem. In their letter, they claim that since my therapist's progress report indicated that my pain is now on a scale of 4 out of 10, I have achieved the parameters necessary for daily life. Well, I beg to differ. My daily life used
to consist of some exercise. Now, I can barely walk for a prolonged period of time. My heart rate has gone from 60 to 85 and my level of physical fitness and general sense of well being has deteriorated quite a bit in the 8 months since I've been sedentary. I do plan to appeal the decision by the way.
I used to be incredulous when I heard that insurance companies would reject a relatively inexpensive procedure to arrest a problem in its initial stages, thinking (naively) that when the problem worsened, they would have to shell out that much more money to make up for lost time. After seeing Sicko
, I realized that insurance companies aren't worried about more expensive problems down the line because their strategy is to always deny care.
There's a very "Moore" bit in the film where his film crew follows a woman who was denied treatment by her insurance company and heads to Canada where she's "married" to a Canadian friend, giving her access to Canada's health care. It's played partly for laughs, but watching it made me glad that I'm married to an Italian. From him, I know that a nationalist health care system isn't the cure-all (no pun intended) Moore tries to make it out to be. Still, I think I will try to get that Italian citizenship through my marriage to him after all.