Saturday, July 28, 2007


SiCKO is absolutely not the right movie to watch just before bed. Not only was I incensed at times, by the end I was in tears. Frustration, fatalism and disgust are the emotions that characterize my response.

What IS our problem? It seems to me like the American Dream is the primary problem. It establishes that pervasive sense of "me" over "we" that keeps us mired in this mess. I haven't felt this acutely frustrated with our nation since I lived in Denmark. It just feels hopeless.

Outside of just the mere fact that the countries he visited have free health care (Canada, Britain, France, Cuba) there were a few points that really were so poignant.

In France: fish and vegetables were the chief household expenses after the mortgage in a middle class family
In Britain: health incentives for doctors, the healthier your patient population (getting patients to quit smoking, lower blood pressure) the higher your salary
In Canada: conservatives still believe in the concept of taking care of those less well off
In Cuba: anything I learned about Cuba is new since I was basically taught that it doesn't exist

On Monday I will start my job providing high quality health care... to rich people's pets. Mmmmm love that cognitive dissonance.


At 9:50 AM, July 30, 2007, Blogger Unknown said...

I agree that America's health care system is probably broken. However, it's a really hard problem to solve, and single payer healthcare isn't necessarily the answer in my opinion. Personally, I'm on a really interesting health plan that's consumer driven - I get a chunk of money that's mine to use how I want. I pay full price for services out of that account, and don't have copays. If I overspend it, I cover myself for a small "bridge" and then I go into traditional health care. The nice thing is that it forces me to make choices about my healthcare. For example, one eye doctor in my town charges $200 for an appointment, while another only charges $105. Since I'm paying for it with money that's mine, I'll choose the one that's cheaper (since the provided service is the same).

I think that powerful things like market forces have to solve this problem, not the government stepping into pay for everyone's healthcare. There are a lot of horror stories about Canada's hospitals and healthcare system - it's definitely not a panacea.


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