Quick Take: “Sicko” Debate Needs to Take a Chill Pill

It seemed like a good idea at the time.  A friend suggested that we see filmmaker Michael Moore’s  most recent effort, Sicko, his take on what’s wrong with the American healthcare system.

Now, I am not so sure if still want to spend more hours of my life listening to Moore’s seemingly endless diatribe.

Early last week, I saw Moore’s unprovoked beat-down of Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s  Situation Room.   It was followed by a “He says, ‘tomato’ and I say, ‘tomawto'” girly slapfest on Larry King Live involving Moore and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN chief medical correspondent.

And the week ended with Republican Presidential Candidate, Gov. Mike Huckabee  all but stating that if Moore wanted to really do something constructive about America’s  healthcare, Moore could start with his own fat a** and lose a pound or 100.

Enough already!

Others have had their say.  The following are my first and final words on the subject:

1.      Free Ain’t Free – I agree with Moore’s critics who say that “Universal Healthcare is not “Free Healthcare”.  Someone has to pay for it and that “someone” is us.   In order to get the services that certain European countries offer, we will have to pay much higher taxes.  And Americans have stated time and time again that they don’t want higher taxes even if raising those taxes is in their best interest.   

2.     The Buck Starts with You – Although somewhat awkwardly stated, Gov. Huckabee was right in asserting that we don’t have a healthcare crisis but a health crisis.  The adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is not an old wives’ tale.   Americans don’t make adequate use of the preventative measures already available to them — reduced fat and caloric intake and exercise — and as a result are developing chronic illnesses at an alarming rate.  To paraphrase the Good Book:  Rain will fall on the just as well as the unjust.   Stated another way:  Illness will befall the fat as well as the fit.  And how soon you recover from injury or illness will be predicated on how healthy you are not necessarily on how well insured you are.

3.    What’s Up Doc? –  Perhaps I missed something but I haven’t heard anyone discussing the more insidious disparities in the delivery of healthcare, some which have to do with the doctors themselves. So I ask, will “universal healthcare” force doctors to stay abreast of the latest developments in their specialty — some of which may be life-saving?   Will “universal healthcare” make doctors listen to patients’ problems/concerns and ask the right questions?  And if we standardize care, are we also going to standardize medical training?  

Forgive me for using another trite phrase but “talk is cheap” (and in the case of Michael Moore, quite profitable).  Before another word is said, let’s take a deep breath and work together — East and West, Red and Blue — to develop a reasonable and viable plan of action.


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