Archive for January 17, 2010

Thoughts on Sicko

January 17, 2010 2 comments

        Thanks to, I learned of a website where you can watch some of your favorite documentaries for free at Much to my pleasant surprise, Michael Moore’s Sicko was one of the featured films on the front page. Being that I never got the chance to watch Sicko and had a dreary Sunday afternoon to kill some time, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to view this film. Let’s just say that all my feelings of angst regarding our broken healthcare system have been reaffirmed.
        The gripping stories of typical Americans are real and their wrenching testimonies can not be discounted. Juxtaposing our system to those of Canada, the UK, France, and gasp …Cuba, only accentuates the needless absurdity that ours has become. Only in America would a for profit model like this be ever be introduced in the first place. The HMO’s are no different from the big banks in this country who have bought out Congress to further their own domination. They are an unnecessary parasite who have siphoned off billions of healthcare dollars that should’ve gone to the sick. Think of the number of cancer treatments, organ transplants, or preventive healthcare checkups that could be payed for by just one HMO CEO’s salary? Before this whole health reform got underway, I could’ve told you that not in a million years would we have one govt run system. Seriously, what would happen to the HMO’s? Did we honestly think that they would just disappear overnight without a fight? Instead, they are fighting tooth over nail to rid the govt option which is on it’s death bed right now.
        There are many doctors who despise Obama’s quest to reform healthcare. They feel that their salaries will plunge only further. Medicare and medicaid is run by government and their reimbursements are ABYSMAL. I fully understand this opposition. Some also don’t trust our government since they have a history of bungling everything up. One only need to be reminded of the Katrina disaster to see this. So what is the solution??? Since American medicine has turned into one really bad game of Jenga, I believe that the whole system needs to be bulldozed and restarted from the ground up. Medical school tuitions need to be reset to zero and those with current student loan balances should have them forgiven. HMO’s would be rid off the face of the earth for eternity. Salaries should be set at a level appropriate and commensurate for the level of training required to become a doctor  (meaning NO medicare pittance rates).  Tort reform would be mandated. 99 year olds would be allowed to die with dignity instead of languishing in ICU’s at 10K a day because daughter Sally demands it. Taxes would obviously have to be raised (sorry millionaires, but you will just have to cut back a mansion or two so your fellow human beings can access the healthcare system) but this would benefit the country many times over.  Unfortunately, “healthcare reform” has turned into a ridiculous folly and is only spiraling further out of control into an ever worsening bureaucratic mess.
        There is no excuse for the wealthiest country on the planet to not be able to provide healthcare to it’s own citizens. I am embarassed as an American and a physician to live in a country where greed trumps generosity like this. There is a heated debate whether having access to healthcare is a basic human right. I don’t get this. It is simply the RIGHT thing as a society to do.

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