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#1631 - 11/09/07 02:33 PM Sicko
Succubus666 Offline
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Registered: 10/17/07
Posts: 161
I just finished watching the Michael Moore documentary Sicko. Iím a Canadian so the rules that govern the American health care system obviously donít have any effect on my day to day life. Iíve heard horror stories of the American health care system long before this film came out, specifically from having an aunt that lives in Nevada whose son fell on the pavement and cracked his skull open. The cost of the surgery was enough to force her and her husband to both take on second jobs. I wouldnít doubt that certain facts were omitted from the film and that not every facet of such a broad subject matter could be covered in such a brief time span, so Iím wondering what other peopleís opinion on the content and accuracy of this film were, specifically those living within the American health care system.

Michael Moore really made it sound like the large insurance corporations are putting dollar values on peopleís lives, and their body parts. Regular, every day people are dying because these corporations are constantly looking for ways to cut costs and employees are actually being rewarded on the basis of how many people they screw over. Is the current state of the human condition really so low that sheer greed overpowers basic, common sense decency? Even from a Satanic point of view, as individuals we certainly have more respect for the intellectually superior, but making money at the expense of childrenís lives (and parents and siblings) is nothing but a sign of pure cowardice, and in this sense the money being made has little to do with intellectual superiority and more to do with oneís willingness to resign their own humanity to make a quick dollar.

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#1633 - 11/09/07 02:52 PM Re: Sicko [Re: Succubus666]
Morgan Offline
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Registered: 08/29/07
Posts: 2956
Loc: New York City
"Is the current state of the human condition really so low that sheer greed overpowers basic, common sense decency?"

Yes. Its all about the benjamins, and making a profit at the expense of others.

I work in the medical field, currently medicaid & most insurance companies for example only reinburse you about .40(cents) for each blood draw. A single blood draw by our visiting nurse to a patients home costs more than 40 cents. So either the patient pays the full cost out of pocket, or doesn't get the blood work done. The doctor doesn't really care because most do not do house calls anymore. We still do this work for some patients anyway at a loss becuase its the right thing to do.

"...oneís willingness to resign their own humanity to make a quick dollar."

Larger Corporations do not have a sense of humanity because humanity does not pay their stockholders or CEO salaries. Smaller companies who still know their stockholders/employees by name sometimes can manage to retain their humanity.

I am actually kinda glad that I work for one of those.

Morgan
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#1635 - 11/09/07 04:31 PM Re: Sicko [Re: Succubus666]
undeadridinghood Offline
pledge


Registered: 08/31/07
Posts: 72
Loc: Washington State
I haven't had any serious injuries, so I'm pretty lucky. I know that my exboyfriend's mother died of cancer because she was a smoker and they weren't willing to treat her properly. Just the cost of comfort and morphine put her husband into debt. She had a brain tumor, so it's kind of stupid what they pulled. The medical bills they had to endure made it impossible for them to pay a lawyer if they sued, which they could.

Also, I have Tricare, which is the health insurance given to the military. Many doctors and psychologists/psychiatrists won't accept it, so we've had to run around from office to office just to get simple medical treatment. Now we have to go to the same medical center that covers people on Medicaid and the uninsured instead of getting a more specialized kind of care. I don't trust a general practitioner when it comes to psych meds, so it's kind of frustrating. And the copays are horrendous. It basically means that you have to figure out what's wrong with you using books and the internet even before you go to the doctor. I've found that if you don't already have a diagnosis in mind, they'll just take a quick look at you and say you're fine, then go to the next person because there are so many people waiting and they're always running behind. I live in a pretty small town, so I can only imagine how difficult it would be to get proper care in a city.

Our other option is to drive an hour to the military hospital and specialists. Their billing system is strange, and it seems like every time we go we wind up with extra hidden bills in the several hundred dollar range coming a month or two later. My dad had knee replacement surgery basically because the bone in his knee died, and that was done in town. Then they told him after that he'd have to DRIVE an hour to the military hospital for physical therapy. He couldn't do it because of the pain of sitting in a car for that long, plus we were so busy that we couldn't drive him there and back plus the length of the session, so now he has very little function in that knee. His leg is stiff, he walks with a limp, and the pain is still there. He's a pretty busy guy who likes to collect things on the beach, carve wooden sculpture, and he teaches at an alternative highschool. All of these things he's had to cut down on or slow down on.


Edited by undeadridinghood (11/09/07 04:38 PM)

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#1691 - 11/10/07 04:53 PM Re: Sicko [Re: Succubus666]
Fist Moderator Offline
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Registered: 08/31/07
Posts: 1453
Loc: B'mo Cautious MF
The current state of health care in the West needs it's own thread in the Politics forum.

As for Moore's movie, it is just more of the same. "America is bad" got it, now move on to something else. I really wish that people like Moore and rest of the rich Hollywood retards would just move to Cuba which is evidentally one of the best places on Earth.

Moore knows as much about medicine, as he knows about guns, as he knows about the auto industry. All of his 'documentaries' have the same problem - the ending is determined before the shooting starts. He is documenting nothing. He is simply re-enforcing he conclusions with pictures. In some circles that is called propaganda.
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I am the Devil and I am here to do the Devil's work.

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#1692 - 11/10/07 05:01 PM Re: Sicko [Re: Fist]
ballbreaker Offline
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Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 134
Loc: Toronto, Canada
 Quote:
All of his 'documentaries' have the same problem - the ending is determined before the shooting starts. He is documenting nothing. He is simply re-enforcing he conclusions with pictures. In some circles that is called propaganda.


I agree with your analysis, but I think that Moore has said as much himself; although there are leftists who view what he has to say as gospel Moore himself hasn't shied away from the fact that his "documentaries" are not representative of objective journalism.

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#1726 - 11/10/07 09:57 PM Re: Sicko [Re: Fist]
Succubus666 Offline
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Registered: 10/17/07
Posts: 161
I see your point of view regarding the perspective that many documentaries out there are just reinforcing one point of view with pictures or with facts that have already been stated. But this day in age, how much can you really say that hasnít been said before? Arenít journalists and news reporters doing the same thing on a daily basis? Iíve worked as a photojournalist for a newspaper, and you wouldnít believe the extent to which your words are edited, regardless of whether or not you are stating the truth. The way my editor explained it to me, the newspapers make most of their money from companies that pay for advertising space. Most of those companies are conservative and conservative people donít want to hear about things that may offend their sensibilities, regardless of whether or not it is completely true (case in point, my articles focused around hypocrisy and corruption in the police force, the illogic of criminalizing medical marijuana when alcohol and tobacco laced with man-made chemicals were legal, and even some issues with the Catholic church and misperception of modern day Satanism). Bottom line: Donít piss off the corporations, they give us money and make us rich.

So after bearing witness to this sort of trend, I think Iíd rather hear the perspective of someone who isnít being censored or taking hush money from the financially elite. Isnít the point of any documentary to make you think, to give you a new perspective and on issue that already exists, and allow individuals to exercise their right to free speech and their own point of view? And if you can make money in the process, good for you. Correct me if Iím wrong, but I donít think Moore started off as some rich kid living in Hollywood. I enjoy a fresh perspective, and as a Canadian much of what Moore brought up I was not previously aware of and they werenít all things that fell into the realm of ďAmerica is badĒ because he certainly touched on the lifestyles of other nations. The danger behind what you watch on television or film in any era is taking the information you derive as gospel and not having enough common sense to question it and form your own educated opinion on the matter.

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#1728 - 11/10/07 10:28 PM Re: Sicko [Re: Succubus666]
Fist Moderator Offline
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Registered: 08/31/07
Posts: 1453
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In the US, the mainstream media is run by people who are leftist liberals. The US as a general rule is center right. Newspapers are losing circulation and have been forced to make a lot of cut backs. Most of the network news outlets are getting killed by Fox News that offers a more center right point of view.

For us in the US, Moore is just more of the same from the Hollywood left.

For what it's worth, Moore was born to a middle class family in Flint Michigan (home of General Motors). His first movie "Roger and Me" was about how GM owed him a job. All the same, from his own personal hard work, initiative, and American ingenuity he has become a millionaire.
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I am the Devil and I am here to do the Devil's work.

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#1750 - 11/11/07 03:02 PM Re: Sicko [Re: undeadridinghood]
Succubus666 Offline
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Registered: 10/17/07
Posts: 161
I had actually given a great deal of thought to moving to California over the past couple of years, but the most significant deciding factor I found myself having against it was the health care system in the United States. I donít think I could comfortably make the transition from a free health care system to likely having to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket. That and the higher crime rate did make me feel a bit uncomfortableÖ

Iím wondering what would prevent mental health practitioners in the US from accepting military insurance? Itís just my personal opinion, but I would think that soldiers that have come back from overseas and witnessed some seriously traumatic and life-altering events would need that sort of treatment more than anyone, as well as their families having to cope with the stress of it. Iíve dealt with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder most of my life and know what sort of living hell it can be to cope with. Anyone having first-hand, extensive experience to war will likely deal with some form of PTSD and I know that some very credible people have anticipated that the two largest demand increases in the field of health and wellness over the coming years will be in PTSD and those trained to deal with the care of the elderly. I donít know the reason for it, but it seems a bit unnerving that any psychologist or psychiatrist would turn away those who are insured through the military.

My father is also in a similar situation to yours. He was nearly killed in a car accident three and a half months ago and shattered his left femur (upper leg bone) in four places and had to have a metal rod inserted and the bone reconstructed around it. He also sustained several breaks to his right arm and is now dealing with nerve damage because of the surgery that was necessary to repair it. He actually went to stay in a specialized rehabilitation facility for awhile, and from what he told me it was a complete joke and he couldnít stand being there. Basically the exercises they were giving him to do he could do by himself at home, and he found the environment more depressing than anything.

So from my personal experience, if I could give you some advice regarding what your father is going through it would be to collect information from the physical therapist he would otherwise be seeing and find out what kind of exercises he should be doing. If heís dealing with something similar to my father, chances are they are things he can do at home in a more comfortable environment. There are also a lot of natural remedies out there to help deal with inflammation, joint pain and bone deterioration that western medicine completely ignores. It may just be a blessing in disguise that your father isnít being forced to deal with hours of sitting in a car, unnecessary fuel expenses and paying to have someone tell him to do things that he could just as easily do on his own more comfortably and with less stress surrounding the situation.

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#1756 - 11/11/07 04:00 PM Re: Sicko [Re: Succubus666]
Nemesis Offline
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Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2175
Loc: US
Not everyone has to pay so much money out of pocket here in the US if they have health insurance...it all depends on what insurance you have. There's Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and just hundreds more that are offered to people via their employers.

In my case, every October, we have a representative pay us a visit from Aetna to set up new health care policies or make revisions to existing ones. There are "tiers" in Aetna, depending on what kind of coverage you want and how much out of pocket you want to pay.

I have an HMO plan, and I pay about $20/wk for my policy. Because I have such a low premium, I pay a little more for my doctor's visits. Years ago, I opted to have a higher premium deducted from my paycheck, but my doctor's visits were only $20. For a regular doctor's visit now, I pay $40. Expensive? Yes, but I don't go to the doctor's but two-four times a year. Specialist visits (urologists, podiatrists, OB/GYN, etc) cost $50 per visit. Being admitted into the ER at the hospital costs me a flat $100. No matter what tests, surgeries or whatever are performed, Aetna will cover it. Now, for hospital stays, I have to pay 30% of the total bill, which is usually mailed to me a few weeks later. Luckily, I haven't had to stay overnight at the hospital for anything, just an occasional visit to the ER, so I haven't been slapped with any outrageous bills. But, when you get billed for that sort of thing, you don't have to pay the full amount, you're allowed to make payments.

I also have Aflac (cue the stupid duck--af-LAAAAAC!), which reimburses me for lost time at work, up to a certain amount.
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#1767 - 11/11/07 06:38 PM Re: Sicko [Re: Succubus666]
ballbreaker Offline
member


Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 134
Loc: Toronto, Canada
 Quote:
the most significant deciding factor I found myself having against it was the health care system in the United States. I donít think I could comfortably make the transition from a free health care system to likely having to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket.


Are we living in the same country? The health care isn't free for me...are you dodging your tax collector or what?

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#1773 - 11/11/07 09:09 PM Re: Sicko [Re: Succubus666]
undeadridinghood Offline
pledge


Registered: 08/31/07
Posts: 72
Loc: Washington State
 Originally Posted By: Tala de Sade
Iím wondering what would prevent mental health practitioners in the US from accepting military insurance? Itís just my personal opinion, but I would think that soldiers that have come back from overseas and witnessed some seriously traumatic and life-altering events would need that sort of treatment more than anyone, as well as their families having to cope with the stress of it.


This is just from personal experience and what my parents explained to me when I was younger and we had to stop seeing the family doctor I'd been with for most of my childhood.

Nearly everyone in the medical field is in it for money. Certain insurance companies, such as military insurance, are only willing to pay a certain amount for the treatment. Medical people who expect good pay, not out of greed, just out of cost of living and the fact that if they're good, they deserve more money, won't take the insurance. I suppose we could still see them, but the fees would be outrageous and come out of pocket.

The annoying thing is that offices change which insurances they'll accept. We were with a particular office for years until they decided to no longer accept our insurance.

We've had other insurance coverage when my dad had different jobs, but now my dad is a non union teacher. I think they have the option of some sort of coverage, but it's not even as good as what we have now. We had Blue Shield for a while when my dad worked for the city Public Works, but they downsized his job so we lost the insurance.

I hate that the government expects people to get health care from their employers. It's as unreliable as job security itself, which isn't very good, at least looking at my dad's experiences.

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#1795 - 11/12/07 10:05 AM Re: Sicko [Re: undeadridinghood]
Fist Moderator Offline
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Registered: 08/31/07
Posts: 1453
Loc: B'mo Cautious MF
Again, health care really needs it's own thread in the Politics Forum because it is not the simple issue that the simple minded Moore tries to simplistically explain.

Supply and demand will never go away. It is as fundamental a law as is the law of gravity. The cost of health care in the US his high because it is not subject to normal market forces. The patient never really pays the bill. The bill is paid for him by the insurance company or Medicare. The doctors and hospitals have an economic interest in charging as much as they can to insurance company or to the govt. As a result, the price of health care shoots up because there is no pricing competition. If you look at elective medicine like plastic surgery, the pricing is much more competitive because people will shop around and will not pay for things they do not need. The same is true for procedures like Lasik and PRK. Most insurance companies will not pay for this so these procedures are subject to market forces and are affordable.

In Western countries where health care is provided by the govt, supply and demand still applies. The supply finite and the demand is nearly infinite, you cannot raise prices and simply bill someone else, so, you have rationing. This is why in Canada and the UK people die in the que waiting for their ration. And, you are still paying for this! What do you think they do with all of that tax money?

There is no free lunch.

The best we could do in the US is get the govt completely out of medicine. Give everyone a tax free medical savings account, have 'loser pays' tort reform like in the UK, and allow the free market to decide what health care is 'worth.'
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#1812 - 11/12/07 06:22 PM Re: Sicko [Re: Fist]
Baphomit666 Offline
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Registered: 10/05/07
Posts: 13
Loc: Taunton-Mass-USA
I agree Fist. In the US for people without/unnable to get healthcare the cost is just too high and prescriptions can not be attained for those who may really need them. I'm not saying that i think it should be free, but it should be up to the market not the govt like you stated.

When me and my ex started dating she had no healthcare at all. In the US it is technically illegal to not have any insurance. She was not making enough to pay for the whole thing herself and was afforded no help from the place she was employed. She could not get Mass Health (the free healthcare in our state, for those who may not know) because she made just over the limit yearly for it. She got sick and couldn't get any prescribed medicine for her ailment because if she had she would have had to pay 80$ PER PILL for whatever the prescription was.

What i don't undestand is that the govt controlls it and tells us we have to have it, but will only give it to those who meet the pre-recs and those who are fortunate enough to work for a company willing to help out can afford it. What are the people who are in the middle supposed to do? The funny thing is that unplanned pregnancies and welfare mothers/families are an issue also, but this does not surprise me due to the fact that she was unnexpectedly impregnated. When she wen't to the doctor to find out for sure she got a written note validating her pregnancy and she wen't back to Mass Health and had health insurance the minute she walked out.

I have nothing against people who need help sometimes by any means. All i am saying is that if the govt is going to do things this way people are going to take advantage of it. BUT this is like telling the people that don't have to use it that it is OK to just get pregnant and live on everyone elses taxes which completes the circle by raising the taxes on things in this field and making it harder for others to do thus increasing the problem. Plus i think it makes some people that struggle and work thier asses off day in and out jealouse of those who live on wellfare, and become bitter to the working class and possibly, ultimately, become like those who just mooch cause it is easier and it is there.

P.S. I am not taking pot shots at people on wellfare as long as it is a for a credible reason. It's just that i have an aunt that can't even take care of herself and yet has 7 kids with 4 already taken by DSS. She lives on wellfare and has another kid about every 4-5 years so she doesn't have to work. She even conned a church into paying her way so she could spend her wellfare money on watever she wanted too, rather than her bills which the church now pays 75% of. So i get heated talking about things related. I did not meen to offend anyone, and appologize in advance if i have.


Edited by Baphomit666 (11/12/07 06:24 PM)
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#1816 - 11/12/07 06:30 PM Re: Sicko [Re: Baphomit666]
Nemesis Offline
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Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2175
Loc: US
Baphomit, I'm 100% with you about people leeching off the welfare system. No need to apologize...women popping out children who will be taken from them a few years later, or potheads claiming disability so they don't have to work. It's bullshit.

Welfare is for people who are genuinely hard on luck, but was only ever intended as a temporary solution. Sad to see, that people are structuring their lives AROUND the welfare system, in order to keep benefiting from it.

I work for my nice things, and it's the most aggravating thing to see people take a free ride on my tax dollars, then have the nerve to bitch about not getting special treatment. Makes me want to gun them all down and take the burden off the system. Free that money up for people who really need it.
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#1854 - 11/13/07 02:19 PM Re: Sicko [Re: ballbreaker]
Succubus666 Offline
member


Registered: 10/17/07
Posts: 161
I also live in Ontario, just a few hours away from where you are. I was born here, Iíve had an OHIP card all my life (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) which is provided freely to any Canadian citizen living here. That being said, I donít see the relevance to your question of whether or not I am dodging the tax collector, which Iím obviously not. With your OHIP card, you take it to reception any time you go to see a doctor or the hospital ER, they take down your information and youíre not billed a cent.

Obviously elective medical issues like cosmetic surgery, seeing a hypnotherapist, acupuncture and alternative health care treatments arenít covered by the government. But seeing a physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, neurologist and any other sort of specialist is free. Surgery is free as long as it isnít cosmetic. You pay for your own medication unless you have a drug plan. In the United States insurance is governed by private companies and what type of plan you have with them determines what you pay. In Canada (speaking as someone who was born a Canadian citizen) doctorís visits and any medically necessary treatments are covered by the government.

Yes, our tax dollars go toward paying the highly trained professionals of the health care industry. I understand what you mean when you say it isnít ďfreeĒ but the comparison I was making was toward the way it is administered in the United States versus the way it is administered in Canada, France and the United Kingdom as Michael Moore had documented in Sicko. Americans pay taxes too, the percentage of which varies on a state to state basis as far as I know, but their tax dollars certainly arenít going towards their health care.

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