Sunday, August 19, 2007


My friend Chester told me about SICKO when we talked in LV. I've watched other movies by Michael Moore, such as Bowling for Columbine and the more famous Fahrenheit 9/11, and I've read his books, like Dude, Where's My Country. I was intrigued so I found myself a copy of this film.
Like every Moore docu, it is a very in-your-face, no-holds-barred report. This time about the Health Care System (or Industry) of the United States.
Even if you get paid in Dollars there, and they say it is the land of promise and new beginnings, mahirap din mabuhay dun. Akala natin ang sarap sarap ng buhay nila dun, hindi rin pala ganun kaganda.
Kaya pala umuuwi dito ang mga ibang fil-am for their medical needs, its more affordable here. Not so much because of the exchange rate, but more of the really, really high cost of medication in the US.
Moore starts his critique with those not covered by medicare. One guy cut his fingers while sawing. The hospital told him that it would cost him 60,000 to re-attach his middle finger and 12,000 for his ring finger. The guy chose the more "affordable" ring finger. Kahit na no, 12,000 pa rin yun. Kotse na yun ah.
By this time, you would assume that people covered by medicare are in a better postion. Not so, says Moore. He interviewed a lot of individuals, and they all said that HMOs would do almost anything to try to get out of paying insurance. They will try to find something in your documents that would show that you did not disclose a certain condition which affects your application. If there is a "pre-existing medical condition" that you did not disclose, patay ka. There was this lady who was already operated. Tapos na ha, bayad na lang. Her HMO "discovered" that she had a yeast infection many many years ago that she did not disclose. Ayun, hindi siya kinoveran.
And to think wala akong medical insurance when i was there. Panu kung naaksidente pala ako dun, eh di milyon-milyon na ang gastos ko.
I remember tuloy the time when my lola was on vacation there and she fell sa bathtub and had to be rushed to the hospital. Since she was not covered by any HMO (since tourist lang naman siya) the ambulance ride cost us 3,000!
And then Michael Moore takes a look at other countries medicare.
Ang ganda pala ng National Health Service ng UK. LIBRE! Socialized kasi (its sourced from taxes). Walang HMO.
Pag nagkasakit ka, libre ang stay, medicine at doctor mo. When Moore asked the patients how much they were paying for the medical attention, tinawanan lang siya. Naghanap siya ng Cashier to prove na may binabayaran sa ospital. When he found one, it turned out that it was the Cashier that paid the patients!
It was the hospital paying the patients for transportation! They pay for your cab ride home!
Sa pharmacies naman nila, iisa lang ang presyo ng gamot. 6.65 pounds. For everything! from the most basic over-over-the-counter tablet to the very expensive capsule, 6.65 for a set!
At pag-tourist ka? LIBRE din pag naaksidente ka!
Iba naman ang pakana ng France. There was this guy who had just returned from the US after 13 years, and therefore had not paid a single cent of tax to the French government. He checked-in a hospital. They diagnosed him, cured him, and after that allowed him to "recuperate" by going on vacation for 3 months...and get this, WITH PAY! The employer pays him 35% while the government shoulder 65%!
Ganun din sa Canada!
At mas-okay pa ang medicare ng mga prisoners sa Guatanamo Bay, Cuba!
Yung breathspray na ginagamit ng isang lady sa US cost her $215. When she went to Cuba, it cost only 5 cents.
WHOA! What's up, Uncle Sam?!
When Hilary Clinton tried to support a move for nationalized healthcare, the HMOs lobbied fiercely against it. They said it was a step towards socialism, only a few inches away from communism. Natalo si Hilary, and that was that.
I'm NEITHER a socialist NOR a communist, but I think, like education, healthcare should be for all.
BESIDES, France, the European bastion of democracy (liberte!), has universal healthcare.
The United Kingdom, the inventor of the Parliament, also has universal healthcare.
So it should be a non-issue with regard to democracy.
Those of you who have the opportunity to watch the film, I say, watch it. It is very educational and an eye-opener.
As for the Philippines case, although we are decades away from universal healthcare, I think we are in a much better position than our relatives in the US. Comparably, healthcare is more accessible here than it is there in the States.
Moral of the story?
We should not always follow in the footsteps of America. We should veer away from HMOs taking over our healthcare. We should take the path to UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE.

1 comment:

hollywood goldengirl said...

that's not really true. i live in california & when i had an emergency as a tourist, i wasn't asked to pay a cent of the $80,000 of my bill bec. there is a thing called emergency medi-cal. at first we paid some of the balance until a social worker from the hospital told us we can NOT pay if we qualified & since we are tourists, we qualified. they will send u home also for free with their van. and i went to a private hospital in hollywood not a county/public hospital. and in socialized countries, people wait to get seen whereas in the US, you will be seen right away in emergencies and low income people can get free medical. it's just a matter of making more research. michael moore's movie should have emphasized instead that health insurance are defrauding most insured individuals coz even after paying many years for your policy, if u get an expensive operation or recuperation that would require a long time, they can cancel your policy! so the hospital will come after you for the hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical bills, sometimes even millions, only bec. the private health insurance you paid for canceled your policy. many people here are sometimes forced to sell their house just to pay for their medical care. but it's still better to live here in the US so no regrets bec. here, they will treat you in the emergency in ANY hospital without asking for a deposit unlike in the Philippines where they will ask for a deposit first before they treat you. if you are in a life & death situation, i think you'd rather be in the US than the Philippines. ambulance is free also if u tell them u can't afford to pay it & your social security will prove it that u can't afford to pay. but of course if they see u can afford to pay, u would have to pay up.