I went to see Michael Moore's new film Sicko today. Usually, I can't stand Michael Moore. I always thought of him as a fat bastard that used film to promote his own personal agenda, which wouldn't be so bad if he would just portray a fair and balanced view. However, he's notorious for being one-sided. Despite my reservations for putting money into his husky pockets, I went to see Sicko.... and for once, I think Michael Moore was right on target.
I tell you... It also makes me hate this damn country. We always go around saying "The United States is the greatest country in the world." Well, by what standard are we measuring this???? Our healthcare system ranks 37th in the world. Our infant mortality rate is the absolute lowest of the western world. Our education system sucks. In what way are we the best country???? Oh yeah... we spend trillions of dollars on fighter jets, guns, and missiles. If we really wanted to, we can obliterate every other country from the face of the Earth. We're like a big dumb playground bully. We threaten other countries to do what we tell them to or we'll beat them up (or in our case, bomb the shit out of them).
I know Michael Moore editorializes the hell out of his documentaries. I also know he's notoriously one sided. However, I know from working in the damn health care system that the picture he paints is pretty close to the truth. It's all about denying coverage. You have to go through a freaking song and dance to get them to pay for anything, and even after you perform the whole number, they still tell you to go fuck yourself. There's a part in the movie where he takes a bunch of 9/11 rescue workers, who all developed lung conditions from breathing all the ashes and asbestos, down to Cuba. You know... Castro led, dictatorship Cuba. They just waltzed right into the country, asked for the nearest hospital, went in, and all these people who were denied lab tests, MRIs, and procedures by their insurance companies in the USA, got everything done for FREE there. No questions asked. No worries. No complaints. Everything was done completely FREE. Then, they took a trip down to the pharmacy to buy some medication. One woman got an inhaler in the US for $120 a pop. In Cuba, that same inhaler was 5 cents!!!!!!! This didn't make her the least bit happy. She wasn't happy to get free medical attention and dirt cheap medication. She was pissed that our country... the "Greatest Country in the World" did absolutely nothing to help her all those years. Meanwhile, our enemies in Cuba, give her everything she always needed.
Canada, France, Britain... they all have government-paid healthcare. All their citizens have longer life expectancies, lower infant mortality rates, and less disease than in the US. If anything goes wrong, they can walk into ANY hospital at ANY time and get whatever medical attention their specific illness or situation needs. No money is exchanged. They don't need anything pre-approved. The doctors can treat their patients in any way they see fit. Plus.... the doctors (this example was a general practitioner) get government incentives from having more patients at blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar goals. They get paid more money by having a higher percentage of patients quit smoking. Oh yeah... they also get paid quite well (one GP was making about $200,000 per year, living in a million dollar house, driving an Audi).
All the myths that the assholes in our government keep telling us about national healthcare are untrue. Do you know why we get fed this bullshit? It's because giant corporations like Aetna, Cigna, Anthem, Kaiser Permanente, etc. all stand to lose BIG if the government starts paying for healthcare. In fact, they'll all go out of business.. which would be freaking great!!
The whole thing just pisses me off because I'm a part of it. Just yesterday, I had to deny someone from getting their narcolepsy medication because the insurance company would not cover it without a prior authorization from the doctor. She was raving mad, but there was nothing I could do. The medication was almost $400. I can't just give it away for free. All the goddamn prior authorizations and NDC not covered rejections is what makes my day so damn hard. We spend more time going back and forth with doctors and insurance companies than we do anything else. A couple weeks ago, I had to spend the first 45 minutes of my day going back and forth with the doctors office because the stupid insurance company wouldn't cover the antibiotic eye drop prescribed for some little boy's pink eye. It was a generic product mind you.
That's why I scoff when people say that you shouldn't do things just for the money in this country. Fuck that... everything is about the damn money here. Without money, you have no power at all. Having money is the only way to ensure a comfortable life in this country. Since our government will throw us in the street before it takes care of someone on tough times, we have to save and plan for the worst. I tell you what though... if I ever won the $140 million Powerball, I'd spend every dime of that money trying to bring down the dumb asses in Washinton because they're all corrupt bastards.
Growing up, I was as pro-American as anyone. I strongly believed we lived in the greatest country and that everyone else was just jealous of us. I thought we were the smartest, most hardworking, most innovative people in the world. Then dumbass Bush got elected the first time. This shook my confidence in the American people a little, but it recovered just a bit. However, once that asshole got elected a second time, I then knew what I never wanted to believe. Our whole country is full of ignorant, stupid, pig-headed, morons who can be fooled into believing anything. These slimeballs in office take millions in handouts from big corporations to do their bidding. Then they hide behind their "moral values" pro-life, pro-family, anti-gay shit, which the rednecks of this country just eat up.
Anyone who has the courage to speak the truth and make these idiots look as dumb and corrupt as they really are get portrayed as anti-american and pro-terrorist. Like I always said, Al Gore made Bush look like a stupid little boy in that first debate back in 2000, but all anyone wanted to talk about was how rude Gore was by sighing at all of Bush's retarded answers, and how he wasn't being nice to poor Georgey. Then in 2004, despite our economy going to shit and us being in a war that had no end and no real purpose whatsoever except to get our hands on some Iraqi oil, that same dipshit got elected again. I would have voted Screech from Saved by the Bell over Bush at that point because anyone would have been better. Yet, John Kerry's "flip-flopping" was totally unacceptable.
Perhaps, that's when things started changing in my life. Perhaps, that's why I got so damn bitter. Perhaps, that's why I still am so damn bitter. I finally opened my eyes, saw our country for the corrupt piece of crap that it was, and it destroyed whatever optomism I had left in me. The worst part of it is that it cannot change. I can lobby and fight and hold meetings all I want, but nothing I can ever do could change the system. The corporations have all the money. They are the ones able to grease political pockets. Without billions of dollars you don't stand a chance. That's why there's nothing I can do but play the system and get whatever money I can, even if it makes me feel like I'm selling my soul doing so.