SICKO (not dog related topic)


Well-Known Member
I am very disturbed after watching a documentary produced by Michael Moore, called "SICKO". It is a documentary on health care in the United States compared to other countries. Other countries have free health care, but for some reason in the U.S. our government feels that government controlled health care will not work. In the U.S. the pharmaceutical companies are making millions off of the system and I am positive they are lining our politicians pockets. In this documentary Michael Moore has several conversations with citizens and Doctors from other countries such as France, Canada, and Britain and they do not have anything bad to say about their medical system.

I'm beside myself, the U.S. is supposed to be the most powerful country in the world and we can not even take care of our elderly and the sick. Our government is more concerned about being the world's police than taking care of it's own people. We are always involved in several conflicts between other countries, spending trillions of dollars on foreign affairs but we do not have room in our budget for medical insurance in our own country? The U.S. government outlook on foreign affairs is that we have to spend the money and fight conflicts in other country's so we do not have to fight terrorists in our country. We have plenty of bloodshed (crime) between citizens in our own country due to the stress levels that are upon us from the way our government runs our country.

I hear stories of the elderly citizens that can not afford medicine in the U.S. so they travel to Canada or Mexico to get medicines that they can afford. The FDA in the states and the Pharmaceutical companies are making the cost of medicines so outrageous, we have to go without or go else where to get them.

I have watched other films by Michael Moore and do not necessarily agree with all his thoughts and opinions, however this one I actually find myself on the same page as him. I never have been a big fan of Michael Moore and sometimes even did not personally like him, so before watching this film I found myself having a prejudice against it, I even questioned my wife why she even bought such a film. I do not follow politics very closely and do not generally consider myself a Republican or a Democrat, as I find all politicians to make promises they do not hold. I hear stress levels are much lower in other countries than here in the U.S. because we work more hours, which I do not understand if we work so many hours why our economy is declining.

This site is the only site I have been apart of where I have communicated with people from other parts of the world. I am just wondering what your outlook is as far health care and government is in the U.S. and other countries. My belief is in the U.S. there is alot of room for improvements.


New Member
I think everyone everywhere complains about health care systems. ;) Here, though healthcare is free, you may have quite a wait on the public system. Imagine waiting years to fix a toothache!

We have incentives to have private health insurance (rebates come tax time) to try to get as many people off the public system as possible. Obviously, it's a financial thing, so people who aren't well off wait longer for health care.

As I am working my way towards a "Bachelor of Health Science", I examine the healthcare system a lot in my degree. :) Most of my course work has shunned hospitals and other health infrastructure. It's not the 'healthcare' system, it's the 'sickcare' system. A focus needs to be given to PREVENTING illness rather than treating it. Social economic status is a major indicator of health/illness, but is rarely addressed in any way.

The US system seems a little crazy to me. :) But so is all the systems, after being at uni, that focus on ILLcare instead of HEALTHcare. I think addressing inequalities is more of an issue than allowing people to access 'stuff to make them better'. Ironing out the inequalities economically is likely to do so 'health' wise, as well. Of course, people need treatment at times, regardless of what we do. But I think there is a lot more that can be done prevention wise, rather than dealing with the preventable.


New Member
In Holland everyone has to have a health insurance, it's obligatory. But the waiting lists are long and the insurance doesn't cover everything and there's an "own risk" of 100 euro's.

I don't like the way the elderly are treated in our health care system. Very often they sleep in one room with 3-6 people. While criminals get a cell for themselves because they need privacy (everyone their own tv). Couples are seperated if one needs more help than the other. They usually end up in different homes. Shame on you dutch Government!

The Netherlands are a small country, only 16.000.000 inhabitants. We pay together a hugh amount of all kind of taxes (there are 40 different kind of taxes here and they are planning on having a few more). Only a small part of that is spend on health care, it's a big disgrace. Too much money is going to useless projects and we have way too many civil servants who all need to be paid. That money could be well spend in healthcare.


Experienced Member
All that glistens is not gold....

I really struggle to believe that he was unable to find doctors who were unhappy with our National Health System. I can point you to article after article which shows otherwise. Clearly, Moore didn't look very far, or, as I suspect is the case, he looked as far as he needed to in order to support his case.

In fact, doctors are fuming right now, as the Govt. wants them to work evenings and weekends, in addition to what they already do. Of course, with a Govt. controlled health system, they won't get a lot of choice. Well, actually, they do have a choice, and many are taking it. They leave the NHS and become private practitioners, so they are no longer a part of the free health-care system.

Most GPs against plan to work extra hours

Or how about the thousands upon thousands of British citizens who can't get their medicines because they can't afford the prescription costs? Oh yes, this *free* system has costs.

Prescription charge review call

If that's not enough, how about the people who have cancer and want a particular drug, but, because the NHS system "can't afford it", they either go without it, or they purchase it privately, and therefore have to leave the NHS completely?

But, just in case Mr. Moore needs a little more for his next documentary...

I'm sure that you're already aware of the British dental system, as I believe the state of British teeth is a bit of a stereotype in the US, in the same what they all Americans are supposed to be loud and overweight to us. Make no mistake, our *free* dental care system is worse than atrocious right now. We've had to import dentists from other countries, particularly Australia, and it's still nowhere near enough. Our home-grown dentists became so dissatisfied with the system, they all went private too. Let's not also forget that dental care has never been *free* anyway, despite the fact that it comes under the NHS.

People are actually pulling their own teeth with pliers. Yes, you heard me right. That *free* health system is looking great right now, isn't it? :)

Patients pull own teeth as dental contract falters
NHS Dental Access Gets Harder
Dental Shortage Hits Millions

But if that's not enough, how about the waiting lists? If there is one thing that will boil the blood of many British citizens, it's the scandal that is the NHS waiting lists. They are appalling. You'd be amazed and horrified at how long you have to wait for both simple and life-saving operations. Of course, again, because it's Govt. controlled, the figures can be skewed to make them look better, but we all know the reality, and it's dire, believe me.

I am pretty sure that once you experienced the UK *free* health system, you'd quickly want to switch back to what you have now. More and more of it is becoming "paid for", and the costs continue to rise.

And then, let's not forget, it's never really been a free system anyway. We each pay a regular contribution (National Insurance) from our salaries, and we always have done as far as I'm aware.

I'll put myself forward as researcher for Mr. Moore's next project. Clearly, his existing one seems to be blinded by rose-coloured glasses.

You can bet your life that within just a few decades, the British Health System will be just like the US one. Most of our Govt. would, I'm sure, agree that our NHS is an albatross around the country's neck, sucking up money like there's no tomorrow. However, nobody is brave enough to remove it from the people, at least not all in one go. So they are doing it bit by bit, and hey, they're getting away with it too. :)

As I said at the start, all that glistens....

Jean Cote

Staff member
I'm Canadian and we have a socialized health care system here. We pay high income taxes and the government pays for the health care.

However, be prepared to wait 4 hours if you go to an emergency room. Be prepared to wait 2 hours if you go to a clinic. Be prepared to wait 6-8 months or more for a surgery or operation.

As much as I want everybody to have health care, I don't think a government type of system works. If you look at electronics, all the prices go down, because of competition. Look at the prices of cell phones compared to what they were. But in health care, everybody charges the government maximum charge. Anytime the doctor swipes your card, it costs the government $85+ dollars even if he sees you for 2 minutes.

And all of my doctor visits have resulted in prescriptions, which are not covered by the government.

So my big problem is, if a 20 year old wants to get ahead in life, shouldn't he be allowed to not buy himself health coverage? Shouldn't that be his choice? But with the system we have, we have to pay nearly half of everything we earn.

I guess I'm just a libertarian at heart! :dogsmile:


Well-Known Member
You all have very good points!!! as Collieman said "Clearly, Moore didn't look very far, or, as I suspect is the case, he looked as far as he needed to in order to support his case." If you want too and pay doctors enouph they can conduct studies showing that smoking is not bad for you!!!
I have taken classes on this how you can make numbers work in your favor as Michael Moore made his studies work in his favor!!!
Thanks for the feed back, I relize that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.


New Member
Actually, the healthcare isn't free. It is just paid for a little differently. In Ontario, Canada there is a small corporate tax based on company payrolls which funds the healthcare system. Here in Germany we all pay for our health insurance, and have the choice of various providers. By law a basic level of health insurance must be provided to everyone in Germany, but obviously those folks who don't earn as much tend to go with the cheaper no frills version. In Switzerland we also had the choice of various providers and had to pay monthly for health insurance, so it isn't really free by any means, but is legally required.

The difference is that no health insurance company can refuse to insure someone, as can happen in the USA. And for unemployed people, the government picks up the tab for basic health insurance, ensuring that every legal resident is always insured.

So in the end it really isn't free, just paid a little differently with more government support and control. The biggest difference is that in both Switzerland and Germany everyone MUST be insured, so that nobody is faced with personal bankruptcy in the case of a major medical emergency.

No system is perfect, and there are also problems in both the German and Swiss system with wait times and doctor shortages in rural areas. But frankly I do prefer the universal model, where no person can be refused health insurance. People are a country's most valuable asset, and it seems as though the US model at times seems to ignore the well-being of its own citizens. Perhaps because of its history of having so much immigration, and with such a large population, the value of individual people is not such a big priority as compared to smaller nations like Switzerland which only has about 8 million people.


Don't get me started on the drug companies! In my job (nurse in a long term care facility for mentally retarded individuals), I have seen where a particular medicine refused by medicaid, so the pharmacy says that the facility can pay for it, charging $387.00 for a 30 day supply. The exact same drug/dosage is available over the counter for $56 for a 30 day supply. Talk about highway robbery!:eek: