Just watched Sicko

It’s easy to dislike Michael Moore. He is sarcastic, he is polemic, and he does that for a living. But he information he provides on health systems in Sicko is accurate, and I’m confident about that because it fits perfectly with what I learned as a Community Health graduate student in one of the top universities in the world.

Some people think Barack Obama should learn from the Brazilian experience to achieve universal health coverage in the USA. I could wine about the issues in Brazil’s public health system, but the fact is World Health Organization cited Brazil as a good example of health policy in the latest World Health Report. And we do that with a ridiculously low budget! Maybe Barack Obama should teach us how to make more money in exchange. 🙂

Update: Karl and Havoc, one of the things I learned from Sicko is that people from Canada and UK don’t think universal health coverage is a socialist thing; they simply consider it a standard part of their democracy. France, another country Michael Moore visited, is very curious, because it is a capitalist country with a very strong socialist party.

9 respostas em “Just watched Sicko

  1. I think it’s a pity Michael Moore didn’t visit countries like the netherlands that have a hybrid system. While we’ve had universal healthcare since WWII (perhaps ironically, the german occupiers actually introduced this), since 2001 it got changed back from a government run program with private healthcare on the side, to a fully privatised healthcare system with government laws in place that dictated a certain “base” package if you will, and that healthcare insurance companies could not refuse people on any grounds, and secondly that every citizen is required to have healthcare. This last bit is even to such an extend that if someone without healthcare insurance gets hit by a car or whatever, he will be able to retroactively get insured.

    I would think such a system would be more accepted in america, since it keeps healthcare in the market, while ensuring it is universal.

  2. It’s true that British people on the whole are fond of, and view as quite natural, the NHS.

    But the utopian panacea which Moore portrayed it to be is entirely at odds with most people’s perspective on the NHS, which is of a slow, bureaucratic, lumbering and frequently incompetent behemoth.

  3. I had some good fun when I saw a news report of Americans protesting against Obama’s healthcare plans, calling it communist.

    Just the other day there was a documentary on television about a mobile Healthcare post. It was started by Americans to help people in 3rd world countries recieve basic health care. The whole post never made it out of the USA, because the (free) healthcare it provided was needed there. Yes, you read it correctly. They could not provide charity to third world countries because the USA needed their charity.

    So if providing universal healthcare (which as Erik said can be done commercially and insusrers will still be able to profit) is communist, then is not providing it Mugabian?

  4. “France, another country Michael Moore visited, is very curious, because it is a capitalist country with a very strong socialist party.”
    But it is not really “socialist” as you may understand it. It has long became more like a social-democrat party. Last time it went to power, it even privatized some state-owned companies.

  5. “Socialst” is a bit of a funny term: in the UK its often synonymous with communism as a political party (as in the Socialist Workers Party) while in France its more generally left wing and close to the definition quoted here http://www.qdh.org.uk/wordpress/?p=334
    It’s interesting that what is “Right wing” in France would probably be left wing in the US. For instance none of the mainstream right-wing parties aim to cut the public healthcare system – which is also a kind of hybrid where health is subsidised but still costs money which is reimbursed by insurance, but the state provides that insurance unless you choose a private insurer. Similarly for education, University is essentially free. A lot of the Left Wing policies in France however would probably by considered very far left in the USA. Its telling that the French (democratic) communist party has always had a high profile and solid support, in fact back in the 60s they got around 20% in a presidential election.
    Hopefully the USA (partly thanks to Obama) will finally get over the whole communist-phobia thing that comes up every time someone is a bit left-wing. From a European point of view most of the reactions seems to be fueled by cold-war era prejudice and fear, so that people who would actually gain hugely from a more equal system of distribution actually oppose the changes, simply because they’ve had socialist policy=communism=evil drummed into them.

  6. Pingback: Leonardo Ferreira Fontenelle: Just watched Sicko | Full-Linux.com

  7. @Jon
    “It’s interesting that what is “Right wing” in France would probably be left wing in the US. For instance none of the mainstream right-wing parties aim to cut the public healthcare system”
    I’ve already seen such things said on blogs, bug that’s not true. That might have been before ~2000, but right now the UMP (the right-wing party at power) is precisely trying to do dismantle that system, that’s part of their ultra-capitalist ideology.

    Something that is not well understood is that our politicians, especially right-wing, are big fat liars. If you want to understand their ideology, you don’t have to look at their speeches (and $DEITY knows some of them are good at talking), but you have to look at their actions. They won’t say they want to dismantle the public health system, because that would be very unpopular. They just do it, step by step, using unrelated laws as undercover vehicles.

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