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message 1: by Arctic (new)

Arctic For those who like Michael Moore or are interested in health care reform.

I liked it. The part where he takes all the people in the boat though was a little ridiculous. Still - interesting documentary.

Servius  Heiner  | 80 comments To be honest, I have been known to read and watch a lot of his stuff. And I became really upset about the points he brings up. Until I started to dig for myself.
He is a no talent hack that twists the facts and ignores key points of argument, because it weakens his position. My suggestion is to broaden your scope of information, and to check and recheck any position you may have taken up because of something he said.
As for Sicko, Well. Socialized health care is not my cup of tea. I lead a pretty healthy life. Not because I am a health nut but because I don’t want to be ill. I spend about 500 a month on health ins. That I don’t use. But hey that’s right; I will gladly accept a 47% income tax to fund someone else’s medical expenses. I think not
I forget the actual numbers but it is in the 10’s of thousands, of people that cross the border from Canada into the US seeking medical attention, because there universal healthcare system put them on a waiting list, instead of treating them. I’m not talking a foot fungus here, were talking serious medical issues. Women being turned away at maternity wards because they were not “slated” to deliver for another couple of weeks. (I KNOW that one sounded so crazy I actually had to double check, and used 3 sources) Because they don’t have enough doctors.
And in the end what it really comes down to is the Gov can’t handle things now, look at the DMV,post office, Katrina. I don’t want them pittling around with their clumsy fingers in my medical situation, it’s simply none of there business.
Sorry if this seems hostile that is not my intent, that guy just really raises my hackles now that I know what he is about.

message 3: by Karen (new)

Karen You're lucky that you can afford to spend $500 a month on healthcare, many cannot. That's why we have 47 million people in this country without healthcare and people dying because of it. Trust me, I know. I've talked to and I know people from other countries and their healthcare isn't as bad as some politicians want us to believe. As far as the woman being turned away because she wasn't ready to deliver...that's done in this country all the time. Not because they don't care, because it's not necessary to be at the hospital until you're ready.

Michael Moore isn't always right on with everything, I agree that he grandstands, but he also raises a lot of good points and gets people talking and thinking.

I would gladly pay more tax if it meant that everyone had access to good, affordable healthcare; that people weren't dying because they can't afford to be treated. It's part of taking care of our fellow human beings. Whatever we do, good or bad, comes back to us at some point in our lives.

Servius  Heiner  | 80 comments Sorry, I didn't articulate properly, the women was "in" labor, dilating and was turned away because it wasn't her turn. Here are a few articles (one of which is by a Canadian doctor) with open dialog on the woe's of government health plans. As for the cost we would all be pay well over 500 a month on healthcare once the Government gets it's hands on it.

These are just a few places one could go to get a clear picture of Government ran health care.

message 5: by Karen (new)

Karen Ok, Nick, I read the articles you referenced. The first article is from January 2004. That article stated that the cause of the spending increase is "an aging population and high cost of advanced treatments". Yes, the scenario that the doctor describes in the one hospital he walked into was bad; but do you truly think that they're all like that? We have bad hospitals in this country, but the good ones far out-number them. The second article you referenced is from IBD, a conservative publication, who by the way, recently gave a statement about Barack Obama with false racist and religious remarks. This was on January 16, 2008. The third artcile you referenced is from "The Freeman", a liberatarian publication and the article was released in March 1989. Almost 20 years ago? Come on. Do you think nothing has changed since then? You're from Alaska and gave Atlas Shrugged as a favorite book so I know that I'm wasting my time trying to give you any of my comments on why we need a healthcare system that is open to everyone, regardless of income.

I'm tired of seeing people die from cancer because they can't afford medical treatment. That has happened in my family. I'm tired of seeing people not get the medical help that they need to remain healthy because of no heath insurance. I've also experienced that in my family. I'm tired of friends who need to go to Mexico and Canada for their prescriptions because they don't have the money for them here and don't have the money for health insurance.

I don't have much, but I'm willing to give what I have so that my family, my friends, my fellow human beings will get the medical help they need. Not just want...that they NEED.

No system is perfect, but helping those who need help is so much better than bitching about giving up some of your income and letting good people die. I'd like to see everyone work together and develop a "healthy" healthcare system.

Servius  Heiner  | 80 comments What about a subsidized health system? Why have someone making Oh I don’t know 70 a year on government healthcare when they can afford there own. I wouldn’t mind spending a little extra to ensure children were provided for either, I do have a problem supporting grown adults, whose lifestyles were unhealthy. True, living healthy doesn’t mean you will stay healthy, but I still don’t see where the connection comes in that I have to reduce my family’s quality of life to raise another’s. I never said I wouldn't mind helping. But the simple side of it is, you raise my taxes to 47% and I can no longer support my family then who is going to take care of them? You? The Government won’t, maybe in 10 more years we will just all labor for free and let the Government decided who gets what. And one final thought that was glazed over, why any of us should trust the Government to handle something as important as our health. They can’t do anything right, and it’s not just a “Bush” thing, this governments been messed up for a long time. The way I see it the less they “TRY” to do the better.

message 7: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2 comments Thank you Karen. You articulated the argument superbly and accurately. It is an argument about my own state of affairs as a born-american. It's a frightening time and I support any type of genre or
medium that strives to get the attention of the rest of America to the serious problems. I have known a man who died because he could not get his diabetes prescriptions or afford a doctor. This is more than just words on newsprint or entertaining pictures on a screen. Death is real. Children are the victims as well. Something's wrong---very wrong. I'm glad that Michael Moore and others are using their skills to try to change this situation. Thank you again Karen. It takes time develop and fine tune an argument like this. I appreciated reading this. When's your book coming out? ;)

message 8: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 02, 2008 09:41AM) (new)

Yes, thank you, Karen. You couldn't have said it better!

I'm one of the working nearly-poor, as it were. My partner and I make just enough money to get by from paycheck to paycheck. We consider luxuries to be things like buying a cup of coffee at B&N or buying a used book at Amazon or, when we're really rolling in dough, eating from the $5.95 buffet at our local Chinese restaurant.

We have THOUSANDS of dollars of medical bills that are a result of working at a job that provided no medical benefits and all the portions of medical bills that are not covered by my insurance and the insurance my partner now has with her new job.

She is now undergoing extensive testing for a potential return of her cancer. The bills are already mounting and she's not even being treated yet! It's frightening!

My 76-year-old aunt, on the other hand, who lives in Germany and has dealt with socialized medicine her entire life refuses to believe how horrifying our health care system is. She doesn't believe that anyone would let people die simply because they can't pay for health care. She can't wrap her head around it. I've tried explaining it to her but she simply refuses to believe it.

As for an increase in taxes. Right now I'm paying 23%. When I work overtime, the government swoops in and takes 33%, because God-forbid I might get ahead. So if paying 47% in taxes (as my aunt has done her entire life) means I don't ever have to worry about medical bills (as my aunt has not had to do her entire life), I'm all for it!

I don't care that Michael Moore may at times be grandstanding. At the core of what he says is the truth. We need to hear it and think about it and not let the politicians frighten us with "facts" that serve only themselves.

message 9: by Karen (new)

Karen Beverly and Diana...thank you. A book? I only wish! :-) I just get very passionate on things I believe in. My daughter lived in Canada and Europe for a while and she paid the taxes without too much grumbling because she knew it was going for a good cause.

Chad...I'm too tired to get into this again with you. Granted, the Constitution doesn't tell us we should pay for other people's ailments. But, in the Preamble it does say a little something about what's right. When it says "promote general welfare" and "domestic tranquility", I look at it as helping every citizen wherever we can. Here's the text of the Preamble: "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Now I will step down from my soapbox. I know what I believe and it's not without a lot of research and an old-fashioned sense of being there for others, whether I know them personally or not.

Servius  Heiner  | 80 comments You articulate what I was trying to say very well Chad. Charity and compassion shouldn't be tied to compulsion.
Karen I'm glad your daughter could afford the extra taxes, I however can not. It's not that I am irresponsible, and bought a house sub-prime, it's just with the prospect of taxes jumping to 47% I wouldn't be able to provide for "My" family anymore. Through no fault of my own.
This next part might be a good Idea, if it comes off abrasive I'm sorry just brainstorming here... If there are so many people that don't mind paying everyone else’s health care why not start up a Health fund. You can all donate to it. The people that really need help with medical expenses, or providing for an ill child, would have a legion of compassionate people willing to help with there costs. A major plus for this system would be the Government wouldn't be involved; the recipients would not be dying waiting for the bureaucracy to move some paper. And it will even help you feel compassionate without robbing people that can't afford to help.

message 11: by Karen (new)

Karen Nick, the truth is, my daughter could not afford the taxes. She was there to experience living abroad, took a year off college and went there for the life experience. She rented a room in someone's apartment (after living in a youth hostel for a couple of weeks), she worked at minimum wage jobs (coffee shops, art studios, temp agency) and barely got by most days. But she said it was all worth it, she learned more there than she ever could in college. Do you honestly think that your idea of a health fund would work? From reading the comments by a couple of people here you can see that people volunteering to donate money to a fund is ludicrous. My hope is that when people are voting for a new president this year, they keep in consideration what that person will do for the healthcare system.

In all honesty, I'm done trying to make my point here. This is a site for books with a side dose of talking about movies.

message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

If you don't like "compulsory compassion" why aren't you protesting social security taxes, unemployment taxes, etc.? Both require us to pay into the system so others can benefit at the moment. Both will be there if you need them, although social security is a big "if" even for someone of my age. Although, social security provides services that even you may need tomorrow.

This is the same system used by the insurance companies. The payments you make each month aren't going into your personal fund. They're paying for other people's health problems. Yet, when it's you or your family's turn, you will benefit while others continue to pay. Presumable, others continuing to pay their insurance premiums while you get health care would be okay with you.

The illusion that if we live "right" we will be spared the need for help from the dreaded government is dangerous. Just because so far you may have been spared the indignity of having to stand in the food stamp line doesn't mean it can't happen to you. And just because you've been eating your leafy green vegetables and exercising every day doesn't mean you won't one day be faced with a catastrophic illness that your insurance will only pay for partially, if not downright refuse to pay for, dropping you into a financial nightmare for which you will pay the rest of your life, if you're lucky to live. And let's not forget that the American public is living longer and that includes you. Unless you have plans to leave us a la Soilent Green to spare the younger generation from having to pay for the services you'll be needing as a senior citizen.

To shrug off the needs of others simply because at the moment you don't foresee ever needing the same assistance yourself is foolish.

And to hang the whole argument on money is short-sighted, especially with health care, prescription drugs and other health services becoming more and more expensive, pretty much as we speak.

When you discover that the health insurance premiums you've been making, especially if they've been nice and hefty, won't give you what you've paid for, you may reconsider that tax increase after all and wish you could take your kids to the doctor without having to wonder how the hell you're going to pay for the treatment.

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)


I swore I'd go away and mind my own business but, oh well :-)

I see your point and it's a fair one.

My issues, however, with personal responsibility and putting in your fair share as it applies to health care, is that often no matter how well you try to manage your life responsibly, nasty shit still happens. And no matter how hard you work, too many people will never accept that you've put in your fair share.

You spoke of balance, and I agree. On one hand, as decent humans beings, we can't shrug off those in need simply because they don't concern us in a personal way, yet to ask for more than that fair share of others is wrong as well.

So the question remains, how do we remain compassionate and provide for the less fortunate while not demanding too much of the rest?

I'll leave it at that, I guess. You and I have different viewpoints but that's okay, it makes for a nice debate.

I'll see you around.

message 14: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 99 comments I saw the documentary and I felt it brought up numerous good points. People don't know what others live, they know what they live. They don't know what it's like when they hear about other citizens of the U.S. going bankrupt over medical bills. We're talking about people that might have worked for decades at the same good paying job. How people still see this as a Democrat vs. Republican idea is insane to me, it's a human issue. We should be ashamed that we let others suffer and go without something as basic as medical care. Another thing- I hear a lot about this "socialized medicine" debate. Since when is it Socialism? Do we call public funded schools "socialized education" or the public funding of defense "socialized defense"? Of course not, the word is only used to imply fear, and the only people I know that are afraid of change are those that are lambs waiting to be led.

message 15: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 99 comments We are the only industrialize nation to not have universal health. Stats show we are also paying thousands more per year for medical bills then other nations, stats also show that we die younger and have an assortment of other problems. I won't get into all of that.

No, people don't have the option not to participate. Unless you don't work I suppose. And why do you feel that doctors wouldn't be paid well for their services? Did you watch the movie? Have you checked statistics on the internet? Doctors in countries with universal health are still at the level of top wage earners, just as in the U.S. How will research stop with UHC? As far as I know Europe and Japan still are among the top countries as far as medical research goes, it hasn't stopped them.

We aren't living in the 1920's any more. This is 2008. People that need medical attention are being forced to go without, lose their life savings and estates, have loved ones die. I'm not saying UHC will be the end all and the complete answer, but from what I know it's a heck of a lot better then the things I mentioned above. When was the last time you knew of someone in Canada living on the street because they lost their home due to medical bills that were astronomical? It doesn't happen. Also, I'm not going to work my entire life just to die knowing that I lost everything and have nothing left for my children but bills. I feel the time is coming and we will switch to UHC in the next decade. The sooner the better as far as I'm concerned.

message 16: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 99 comments Last year I read several stories about small children who had died from infections that spread to their brains. The initial cause was a tooth infection. When questioned the parents said they had no insurance, didn't qualify for Medicaid, and were in the process of saving to take their children back to the dentist.

These are the types of people I am talking about. You have to know that there are some things that can take a long period of time to die from. My mother had MS, she was lucky and only lived for 6 months after her prognosis. She lived in a body where her mind was still completely functional and the rest of her had no mobility except for a beating heart. She didn't want to live that way, but had to and so my father had to pay out what he did. In that period of time his co-pays were in the tens of thousands of dollars. Then he developed cancer. "Lucky" for him he could utilize the VA. What a lovely system that is. In the end their actions are what killed him. I took care of both of my parents, the first time as a single woman and the second as a married woman with children and a career. Not everyone has that luxury. Some people would've had to liquidate the estate and send their family member to a home. I don't feel our loved ones should have to die that way.

The fact is we don't know what we would pay out to go the route of UHC. We already pay now, at least if you work you do. There is the cost of insurance, the co-pays on services and medications, and there are many limitations. Who you can go to (unless you want to pay more), what medications your plan considers "necessary" or "approves of", and even services such as surgery that they can decline you for after your doctor says you need it. My family has 4 members, we pay $75 every two weeks to have insurance. Last year we paid over $18000 in co-pays. That includes a $3400 bill for a 3 night hospital stay. The rest was medications, doctor appointments, and an MRI. We are paying $1800 per year already, and for that I have to fight to get my son the medications he needs and write letters explaining why I had an MRI because I "could still be denied" even AFTER they pre-approved me.

Sure you might not want to pay more to have insurance and provide for others. We do already do that however because we pay into Medicaid. You're under the assumption that you would pay more to switch to UHC, and that is something I have no clue on. For my family, and for millions of others it could never be more. Not with the way we are being raped now. And, in the end I would gladly pay more then the $1800 I do now if I knew that it would also help some child along the way that could die without necessary medical intervention, or a family struggling to keep food on their table, or an elderly person that just needs a yearly physical.

message 17: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 99 comments Yes we have thought of moving overseas to be honest with you. I have more family in Japan then I do here, I'm just afraid that one day the entire nation will fall into the sea. :( I would also seriously look into moving to one of the European countries if it wouldn't break the heart of my children's grandmother.

The government already is involved with regulation of medicine. They already have involvement and their hands out to pharmaceutical companies, and they have involvement with business aspects of practices.

There are supposed to be laws in place, that if anyone comes into the er for services they receive them. Money isn't supposed to be an issue. I'm not sure where you come from, but if you live in a bigger city I'm sure you know that people are turned away from the er. Even if they are admitted, "approval" from their insurance company is one of the first things on the agenda. No insurance? Then someone will be coming to talk to you about how you're going to pay. Don't have that answer? You're put on the street.

I have only spoken to one other person that has a family and is in his 30's who thinks UHC isn't a good idea. Most of the people I've encountered who are against it are one of three categories: Twenties, single, or newly married and have no clue about what they are in for as far as health expenditures, mid-aged but very conservative and feel their fellow man isn't worth the bother (and most of the time have money), elderly right-wingers that feel they worked their entire lives and now the young/family people can fend for themselves and don't give a crap. What they all have in common is their selfishness to think that this isn't a human issue. Why is everyone so afraid of our government? Should we not hold them to high standards and expect that if we somewhat model ourselves after nations that have already went this route we should have the same outcomes? No, I guess we should all just be in fear of our government and let the excessive lying, spending, and non-caring attitude to the nation as a whole continue. That seems to be working great now doesn't it?

How can you say that health care doesn't factor into it when the subject is universal health coverage? Are you saying is you are against it simply because of government involvement and the fact that thousands of people are suffering for no reason is minute compared to your fear of the government?

message 18: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 99 comments After watching Sicko I had a discussion with a friend of mine. I asked her if she knew that in France you get a year off of work paid after you have a child, and that they send someone to come help you do whatever you need them to for months after the birth. Clean, cook, shop, whatever. I also pointed out that you get sick days there, real sick days. They aren't limited and you are on the honor system that when you call in you are ill. They are also paid days. You also get paid time when you move.

Her response was that in American we can't have things like that because too many people would be taking advantage: popping out kids just to get the year off, burning up sick days for every little thing that came up. At first I thought that was true, but then I discovered that was just really cynical.

There are always going to be people that take advantage of whatever they can. There are also many more people that have discovered how an education can open doors for you, not just for employment but in your own mind. To think that more people will not work hard or be under the impression that "someone will pay my way" is ridiculous. My guess is that whether we are in the current system or under UHC the same people will be non-supportive. The ones that don't want to work now will probably be the ones that won't want to work in the future. But we are talking about health care here, not owning a home, or taking vacations. Why would anyone make the conscience choice to not work hard and get ahead just so they don't have to pay into UHC? Using that as an argument seems rather silly to me.

And yeah we are all going to die someday. I guess some of us just feel it's inhumane that people have to suffer needlessly or die many years before the should because they can't get medical attention.

message 19: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 99 comments What helped me form my opinion is:

1. Seeing sick people dying on the street
2. Hearing ill children tell their teacher that their parents promised to take them to the doctor as soon as they have the money.
3. Watching people I know have to sell off what they've worked for and end up living with whoever can take them in because their medical bills were so inflated.
4. Hearing my father beg me never to put him in a home because he would lose everything.
5. My mind.

message 20: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 99 comments Wow. You ever heard of this thing called "mental illness"? And I'll only assume they were dying considering the festering wounds on their legs and arms were gangrenous, although when you see the men with the body bag show up it's a pretty sure bet someone died. Sorry I feel compelled to not care what their choices were. For every bad one they made there is a child out there that has no choice for the way they are not being provided for.

Servius  Heiner  | 80 comments Every child under the age of 18 is provided for. "S.c.h.i.p." But a lot of people don't use the service because they are proud, which is a shame. Children are the only people I think should be provided for, without question. Because you’re right, they are unable to make choices’. But I am not paying for an adult, it's that simple. All the content in these 32 posts and still nobody has answered my question of who is going to provide for my family, wail I'm being compassionate and paying for someone else? I can not afford the price of the imposed taxes they are suggesting to pay for social health care. It is that simple.

message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Very fortunate to get the opportunity to see this film at the local cinema. Rarely do I get to see a film I want to see because most films are not accessible. This time, the RWC option was available so I was able to see the film. Regardinng the synopsis of the film, the filmmakers had an important message to convey to the audience. We often hear about people who do not have insurance. This time, we are compelled to think about the status of people who HAVE insurance!!!! Lived in the UK and had similar experiences.

message 23: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 99 comments Nick- do you not pay now? Do you not pay in taxes for the thousands on Medicaid? Do you not pay into Social Security, a system that depending on your age you might not ever even draw from? Do you not pay to have health insurance payments and co-pays? What do you think will happen to those things when UHC is instilled? They will disappear. Instead you will make a payment into UHC. I will assume that the U.S. will model the success of the nations that have the program already in place, and at that time if you add up all that you pay into right now versus what you will pay in the future it's to my belief that you will pay less or at least an even amount.

Servius  Heiner  | 80 comments I do not currently spend half of my income on health care; Medicare, and social security. I am looking at a pay stub for Jan 08' and I paid 54.48 into Medicare, and 242.97 into FICA... Now I don't claim to be am mathematician, but that doesn't look like 1,143 a month to me. Even if I add in my healthcare expenses I am nowhere near 1,143 per month.
Additionally I never claimed that SS was a good system, or that it would be available to me in the future, I agree it is broken, and it doesn't even competently fulfill its purpose today. But it is not taking my house out from under me either. I would not object to a reasonable tax increase to facilitate people situations better, life is rough, crap happens, that doesn't mean you permanently should be allowed to live off the sweat of others. And that is what happened.
I may live in Alaska now but I grew up in Chicago. I am no stranger to people on welfare, and you know what, it doesn’t improve there lives; they don’t go out and magically become super performers, and life achievers. Welfare doesn’t give people a hand up, it is a hand out.
Welfare was formed to help people during the depression, because it wasn’t there faults that there lives fell apart. It was never intended to be permanent. But it became permanent and it has since morphed into this pool of feces. I think the entire thing needs a good overhaul. Once it is fixed and isn’t abused across the board then maybe I wouldn’t mind paying a little more. If I were to see some actual progress and people turning there lives around, rising above poverty, then hell yeah, bring it on, I’ll donate more. But to see the billions a year flushed down the toilet with no change…. No un acceptable.

message 25: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 99 comments I only read the first part of your post, but where are you coming up with a number (half of your salary) for UHC? How can you know what you will pay in to something that isn't even in place?

message 26: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 99 comments Wait a minute Nick, I think you are utterly confused. When UHC becomes a reality to the U.S. you WON'T be paying into the things you are now. You won't have to pay for your medical/dental insurance or co-pays for doctor appointments/prescriptions/surgery/ and every other American will be covered under UHC. I love how "social" or "socialized" has to be used by those against it, you don't even know what it is!

Servius  Heiner  | 80 comments Eh, Yes UHC as per Hilary Care will cost the avr. Middle class citizen a repressive 47% income tax, as per her own words about 2 months ago, in a speech in S.C. Justified by the debate you are making here. It still stands; I don't spend that much on health care. I don't spend that much on health care, SS, or Medicare combined.
I have been talking to some friends about these issues and they claim to spend a LITTLE more then me. But after talking it is because they just accept the plans there employers delve out. If one decline the offered insurance from an employer your employer will give you a healthcare "Kick-back" then you go and utilize are free market and find something you can afford, that takes care of your needs. More often then not you will save yourself a little coin, and have better coverage, not always mind you. One of my friends has the best health plain I have ever seen threw his employer.

You know I don't think either of us are going to bend on this one... Have you seen any good movies latly?

message 28: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 99 comments Hilary isn't talking about going to UHC, and the only representation of the number 47 on her website I've seen in that 47 million people in the U.S. have no health care coverage. She wants to switch to something she is calling the "American's Health Choices Plan", I'm not jazzed about what she's been saying quite frankly.
I'm not even saying that in this next administration we will see a change to UHC, I just feel it will be in place before my life is over. I'm just hoping it's more sooner then later seeing how, as I've stated before, health care expenses are so disgustingly inflated and for a typical family we are spending tens of thousands of dollars per year for services that are price gouged. Wait until you have a family that utilizes medical care on a frequent basis, heck have a couple of kids and you will understand why the average American family wants the health industry to have to answer to their prices and rules.

I've seen tons of great movies, I've commented on them numerous times in this group.

message 29: by Angie (new)

Angie I just watched this movie, I am really passionate about the subject but I like some of his other documentaries better. Sometimes when he was talking about the overseas healthcare I was wanting more about the American system. Otherwise I thought it was great!

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