I saw Michael Moore's movie, "Sicko", today. Yes, there are obviously "staged" segments. But I didn't care. I loved it. And although it's ostensibly "about" the sorry state of medical care in the good old USofA, somewhere in mid-film Moore makes the statement that government has a vested interest in keeping the population "living in fear, debt and hopeless." I've sort of paraphrased that, but it's close enough.
It hit me like a ton of bricks. I've never been much of a conspiracy-theory type, adhering to the opinion that our government is so disorganized that it could never get it's act together to actually cook up and keep quiet a vast conspiracy of any sort.
Until I found out about the medical lobby. And who, precisely, is on their payrolls. Did you know that the 2nd biggest senatorial recipient of political donations from the medical profession over the last couple of years was....
Hillary Rodham Clinton?
No shit. Yeah, I was shocked, too. I forget the exact amount, but it was pushing a million. #1 was Rick Santorum, an anti-gay neocon from Pennsylvania who got thrown out of office in the last election.
I was also surprised to learn that the whole idea of HMOs can be laid at the doorstep of Henry Kaiser, of Kaiser-Permanente fame.
Worse, the film plays an audio tape from 1971 of Nixon discussing the whole idea of HMOs with John Ehrlichman, and mentioning Kaiser by name. Nixon really loved the "profit through withholding of service" idea. An idea, of course, which is the basis of our current health care schemes.
We are then given a guided tour through the medical paradises in Canada, the UK, France and, finally, the island paradise of Cuba.
I take it all with a giant grain of salt. Mr. Moore, after all, is nothing if not a sensationalist (he IS trying to put butts into theater seats, after all), but I'd always rather err on the side of compassion, when push comes to shove.
Which, by the way, is what separates liberals from conservatives. Conservatives would always rather err on the side of profits, a point Moore makes by showing up a couple of Congressional shills who, after they shoved through the recent Medicare Prescription Drug plan (put together by the drug industry, of course) and before the ink was hardly dry on the President's signature, resigned from Congress to take lucrative, 7-figure jobs with the pharmaceutical lobby.
All in all, it was a highly inflammatory, highly educational and highly entertaining 2 hours.
Go see it and then join me on the picket line!
Oh, and if you want some backup on the "facts" in Mr. Moore's movie, visit his website here.
He has thoughtfully provided links to all of his sources. Too bad politicians never do that. But then, they're all pussies and liars.