Monday, May 21, 2007

Sicko


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I am eagerly anticipating the release of controversial documentary filmmaker Michael Moore's movie "Sicko." In this latest endeavor, Moore takes on the U.S. health care system. Needless to say, this issue hits close to home for me, and I would imagine it does for my readers, too.

Moore film attacks U.S. health care
Controversy follows Moore at every turn. Regardless of the actual content of this film, I have no doubt it will engage people from all points along the political spectrum inan enthusiastic dialogue about the state of health care in the U.S.
For a nation that spends more on health care than any other industrialized nation, we aren't getting a good return on our investment. In fact, the U.S. spends a greater percentage of our gross domestic product per capita on health care than countries that provide universal coverage. I feel quite confident we can do much better than we are now.

Many American families are just a catastrophic illness away from complete financial ruin. I personally know families who have been forced to declare bankruptcy after a loved one was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. In one instance that sticks in my memory, a close family friend died from her aggressive cancer, but those bills still kept streaming in. I truly cannot imagine dealing with that pressure on top of the heartache of losing your spouse.

Chronic illnesses are a huge burden, too. Even those of us like myself who are lucky enough to have health insurance, and good insurance at that, know how quickly the copays add up when you need to take a handful of prescription medications on a daily basis and make regular visits to a litany of care providers. Of course, some of the treatments that I have found most helpful, such as acupuncture, are not covered at all by my insurance, though I know some companies do cover it. And this is to say nothing of those 47 million Americans who have no insurance coverage at all.

Sources: Facts About Healthcare; U.S. Health Care Spending in an International Context;
U.S. health care expensive, inefficient
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