Michael Moore’s documentaries always manage to stir up strong emotions amongst their viewers. Fahrenheit 9/11 caused lot of stir, won an Oscar, but it did not change anything. One potential reason may be that the facts shown were hard to believe and there was no easy way to validate them. This reduced a very well made documentary to the status of a cheap political propaganda. But, Mr. Moore’s latest film, “Sicko”, is different. It deals with an issue that we witness in our daily lives, directly or indirectly – the US health care system, or more specifically the US healthcare management system.
But, I think Sicko has done more than just highlighting the sorry state of the US healthcare system that we all know of. Sicko has been able to drive home the fact, that universal healthcare (through a single payer system) works in most countries of the developed world (Canada, UK, France) as well as the developing world (Cuba). Hence there is no reason why it cannot succeed in USA if people and their legislators have the will to implement this change. Medicare already works for the seniors of this country. Why can’t the Medicare system be extended to cover all Americans?
While watching the “Sicko” DVD, I was more fascinated to watch the extra features. It was highly educational for me to learn about the HR 676, the universal healthcare bill that is currently fighting to get support. This bill proposes to offer complete healthcare to all Americans (and residents) through a single non-profit healthcare management organization. Note that this bill does not propose to nationalize health care or the health care industry. It only proposes that the healthcare management be governed by a single agency (like Medicare) whose objective would be to ensure that everybody receives the care they need and not be guided by profit motives that encourage denial of health care. This bill has huge support from the physicians (see Physicians for National Health Plan site), nurses and the people who know about it. This site, as well as multiple other websites (including Michael Moore’s website) talks in details about this bill and how it could save billions of dollars and yet offer universal health care. I’d like to urge you to visit these sites (you can find several others jut by googling HR 676) and make yourself aware of this bill and the facts. If you are convinced then please ask your representatives to support this bill. All these websites offer you a convenient way to reach your local congressmen and senators.
I know that many of us who are blessed with a health insurance system through our employers do not want to get bothered with these issues. But even if you have an insurance, that may not cover you for all your health care needs. Then what happens if one day we don’t have a job? Anyone who has tried to purchase private health insurance knows how expensive they are.
I think it is high time that we raise our voice on this issue. Healthcare is not a privilege, it is a right.
It is highly unlikely that any of the presidential candidates will do anything about it because they are obliged to the special interest groups from the health care management and pharmaceutical industry. So we must make ourselves heard and let our lawmakers know that it is their moral duty to make sure that their constituents get the proper health care they need.
So, please support HR 676.