Sunday, July 15, 2007

SiCKO not so bad but not very enlightening

As promised, I did in fact pay the bribe required to see Michael Moore's new health care "documentary", SiCKO. It wasn't too bad considering that it was more a matter of political posturing than documentary. It was in fact about as I expected: one-third reasonably factual documentary, one-third political spin, posturing, emotion baiting, and misleading presentation, and one-third classic Michael Moore comedy. As extertainment it was not so bad, although I still object to having to pay a bribe (modest though it was) to gain access to the factual aspects of the documentary.

As far as its value as a documentary, to me it was of low value since, as expected, he mostly repeated characterizations of our health care system that are widely known. Sure, there were some interesting factoids (e.g., the roles of Nixon and Reagan), but most of the facts were merely anecdotal or already well known.

The sound track was great and added significantly to the entertainment value of the film, even if it did nothing but distract from its documentary value.

As to the central question posed by the film: Why can't we have a system like the one in Canada, Britain, or France? To me the very obvious answer is that despite the anecdotal evidence of "health care horror stories", our system does in fact appear to work well enough for most people, so why should we risk giving up a system that works "good enough"? Sure, the bad might get better, but are we guaranteed that the good won't get worse? Obviously there are at least two distinct camps on that issue, but the chasm between them is what stymies any significant change.

The simple fact is that our health care system will only be radically changed when "the people" as opposed to the politicians and Big Pharma and Big Health actually feel strongly enough to vote in the polls to change things. Sure, politicans respond to money and lobbying, but ultimately the people do get to vote in elections and can give the boot to uncooperative politicians.

-- Jack Krupansky

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