Sicko...

newGuy12

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I've never seen any of his movies, so I cannot comment on them, but, I would like to comment on him, the man. I once heard a soundbite where Moore outright owned some media guy who was interviewing him.

The media guy somehow got smart with Moore. Moore then outright told him, "Look, when my first movie came out, all of you people dismissed it as being foolish. I had three points to the movie, 1) That there would be no weapons of mass destruction found, 2) that there would be big problems with medical care for the soldiers. 3) that we would be bogged down in a quagmire. So, what do we have?

No weapons of mass destruction.
Congressional hearings over Walter Reed hospital.
No realistic end in sight.

Then, haha, Moore told the guy, "So why don't you first apologize for calling me foolish over the first movie before we speak about this one, or better yet, let's just cut to a commercial right now so that we can see what pharmaceutical companies are sponsoring this show."


So, in my mind, this guy Michael Moore knows how to go toe-to-toe with these media pundits and do what we call around here a knock-out-punch!
 

Makalakumu

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I saw the movie and I think it is Michael Moore's best film. I haven't agree with some of Moore's films in the past, but this one, I am behind nearly 100%. The only parts that I disagreed with were his bits about Cuba...they got the Red Carpet rolled out for them by Castro and the part about bullhorning Gitmo. What was he really trying to accomplish there other then making a point? I felt that he put the soldiers who were there in a bind. What could they really do for the boatload of people he had? There was probably a better way to make that point...
 

Rich Parsons

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I saw the movie and I think it is Michael Moore's best film. I haven't agree with some of Moore's films in the past, but this one, I am behind nearly 100%. The only parts that I disagreed with were his bits about Cuba...they got the Red Carpet rolled out for them by Castro and the part about bullhorning Gitmo. What was he really trying to accomplish there other then making a point? I felt that he put the soldiers who were there in a bind. What could they really do for the boatload of people he had? There was probably a better way to make that point...


I would have shot the bull horn. ;)
 
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Cruentus

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I've never seen any of his movies, so I cannot comment on them, but, I would like to comment on him, the man.

I'd almost rather not discuss "the man" because I find that he is so polarizing for some people that talking about him as a person ruins any logical discussion about the points he makes. But, that will not stop people from talking about him here I am sure. [that was a good story about him, though, newguy; I am just making the point]

I'll start with my opinions about the movie, because it is a Saturday and no one else is really online to comment. ;)

First, I recommend, as always, to see the film. I feel that he does a good job with his documentary/commentaries; even if you do not agree with his position, they seem well done to me.

That said, before everyone throws down a link to all the "anti-Moore" sites to educate me on the fine details of misused data and embellishments that some feel he permeates his work with, please understand that I take all documentaries with a grain of salt. Whether it's on the Davinci Code, UFO's, 9-11, or healthcare as in this film, I do realize that all documentaries are always going to be from the point of view of the film maker, and data will be presented accordingly. Like most of these film-makers, I feel that Moore is presenting a point of view; not to be taken as Gospel, but just to be respected as any other and looked at with the same scrutiny as any other.

That said, let's talk about the film Sicko.

Although I think that there may be some fine details that were presented with bias, overall I think that the film adequately highlights the problems with our healthcare system. I happen to believe that we are in a healthcare crisis, and something serious needs to be done about it.

I do question the accuracy of how other countries systems were presented (France, Canada, England, and Cuba to be specific). They are presented as Utopian, relatively problem free systems that is not cumbersome on taxes and where everyone gets the best care and is taken care of well under the system. I have to question the accuracy of this presentation because here in the U.S., I get all sorts of other data that would say the contrary. So, what I am hoping for is that some people who live in these countries with universal systems will have seen the movie, and will be able to comment on the accuracy of the presentation here.

Another thing that was highlighted was "time off" and vacation time as it is viewed in other countries. Although this is not specific to healthcare, it was tied in well because of the overall health implications for people who are overworked. The presentation was that people in many countries like Europe are garaunteed 5 weeks minimal paid vacation, and 35 hour work weeks. If you work "overtime," then those hours tack on as additional vacation days. The idea that was presented was that productivity is actually higher with these systems because people are required to maximize their time and actually work more efficiently when they are on the clock. I tend to agree with this presentation, though I need to look into some more data. But it is my experience that too many hours leads to less productivity. I think that we here in the US are far behind some of these other countries in terms of our viewpoints on 'time-off' and vacation time, and I think that this reality was presented well in the film.

One thing that was completely overlooked, though was the research development side of healthcare. I have been under the impression that we here in the US basically pioneer the latest in healthcare technology and equiptment. This occurs because we have the capital to do this with our 'paying' system. Other countries that are able to offer universal healthcare tend to benefit from our research and development that our paying system provides. This point was overlooked, but I think it is a significant one in regards to looking at revolutionizing our system. We would not want to loose the technology and discoveries of new methodologies that our paying system provides, as that may be detrimental to the entire world.

Well, these are my impressions, anyhow, and what I thought were the highlights. I personally liked this film better then any of his other films.
The overall conclusion seems self-evident; that our system is 'broken,' and we need to come up with some serious solutions here in the US to fix it.

I would certainly like to hear other opinions from those who have seen the film...

C.
 

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I do not like him much myself, or agree with his views on alot of things, but I think his movies are pur together pretty well for what they are. I may have to give this one a peek for the heck of it.
 

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I'd almost rather not discuss "the man" because I find that he is so polarizing for some people that talking about him as a person ruins any logical discussion about the points he makes. But, that will not stop people from talking about him here I am sure. [that was a good story about him, though, newguy; I am just making the point]

Another thing that was highlighted was "time off" and vacation time as it is viewed in other countries. Although this is not specific to healthcare, it was tied in well because of the overall health implications for people who are overworked. The presentation was that people in many countries like Europe are garaunteed 5 weeks minimal paid vacation, and 35 hour work weeks. If you work "overtime," then those hours tack on as additional vacation days. The idea that was presented was that productivity is actually higher with these systems because people are required to maximize their time and actually work more efficiently when they are on the clock. I tend to agree with this presentation, though I need to look into some more data. But it is my experience that too many hours leads to less productivity. I think that we here in the US are far behind some of these other countries in terms of our viewpoints on 'time-off' and vacation time, and I think that this reality was presented well in the film.

C.


Actually, if you look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hourly output of the American worker is higher than any European country, with the exception of Sweden.

ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/ForeignLabor/prodsuppt01.txt

Just a blurb before I go out on a Saturday night.
 
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Cruentus

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Actually, if you look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hourly output of the American worker is higher than any European country, with the exception of Sweden.

ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/ForeignLabor/prodsuppt01.txt

Just a blurb before I go out on a Saturday night.

Right, but what does that mean in terms of efficency; I mean, how does that translate to amount of work done within a time frame?

I am not saying that the assertion that productivity is higher in other countries is true; I really don't know. If I were to guess, I would guess that American productivity is higher overall due to more hours worked, but that on a per hour basis, European countries with limited work weeks are more productive. I know anecdotally that efficiency experts often find on a per company basis that having a limited time to work generally translates to more work done within that given time frame, but I don't know how this pans out on a larger scale like looking at a whole country.

But that is just a guess. I need to see more data (starting with your link... thanks btw).
 
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Cruentus

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Here is a good article that seems to explain a few things well on the issue of work hours:

http://reclaimdemocracy.org/articles_2004/american_worker_productivity.html

U.S. productivity is No. 1 in the world when productivity is measured as gross domestic product per worker, but our lead vanishes when productivity is measured as GDP per hour worked, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, whose members are the world's 30 most developed nations.

The article is actually from the LA times (not that familiar with the site on which it was reprinted).
 
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Cruentus

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However.... I may stand corrected here on my initial guess :) :

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/070902/un_labor_productivity.html?.v=4

American workers stay longer in the office, at the factory or on the farm than their counterparts in Europe and most other rich nations, and they produce more per person over the year.They also get more done per hour than everyone but the Norwegians, according to a U.N. report released Monday, which said the United States "leads the world in labor productivity."

Damn! :) I guess we're just hard workers!

I still think we are behind as far as the way we treat "time-off" in this country, but it would appear that we are more productive per-hour then I thought.

Well, there would be one assertion that would be wrong in the film (that being that american workers are less efficient due to long hours). Although, I still agree with the point that we do need to allow for more "time-off" as a whole.
 

newGuy12

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If the US workers produce more per unit time than others, that is amazing! I know that measurements like these can be hard to get right, and can be skewed, but if its true, that's really something.

I know that in my field, there is a lot of waiting around, with not a whole lot of work to do, and it comes in bursts (sometimes it can be a big burst). But I suppose its different for different jobs.
 
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If the US workers produce more per unit time than others, that is amazing! I know that measurements like these can be hard to get right, and can be skewed, but if its true, that's really something.

I know that in my field, there is a lot of waiting around, with not a whole lot of work to do, and it comes in bursts (sometimes it can be a big burst). But I suppose its different for different jobs.

America's increased productivity "has to do with the ICT (information and communication technologies) revolution, with the way the U.S. organizes companies, with the high level of competition in the country, with the extension of trade and investment abroad," said Jose Manuel Salazar, the ILO's head of employment.

I think it is different in different industries and jobs, as you said.
 
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Smart. On Moores site, he includes a "fact-check list."

http://www.michaelmoore.com/sicko/checkup/

It appears that for a long time (1993-2003) and in 2005, France had beaten us in per hour productivity. However, we beat then in 06' and 04.' We also consistently beat England and other countries with more vacation time. So, at the vary least, we are not vastly under-productive due to too many hours worked, as the movie would seem to imply.

But, I still say we should be wary of this, and try to impove our situation to where we have more "free" time. Things like working remotely and better use of technology rather then the traditional office/cubical setting would offer more time and more productivity, for example.
 

newGuy12

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Things like working remotely and better use of technology rather then the traditional office/cubical setting would offer more time and more productivity, for example.

As soon as the "Old Guard" passes the torch to the next generation, or whenever the real petroleum crunch starts, which ever happens first, this will certainly happen.
 

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Although I would agree that much needs to be done with our healthcare system, I think that going to a socialized system is the wrong thing to do.

Now, I am speaking from a position of not having had the opportunity to see the movie, but having ready Michael Moore's "Factual Backup".

If one were to look at medical procedures where individual's pay the cost themselves, such as breast augmentation and laser eye surgery, the costs are continually going down. In my recollection, about 15 years ago, the cost of laser eye surgery was over $10,000. Now, the surgery can be had safer, for under $1,000.

Why is it that we look for the government to make things more affordable with health care, when if we look to the free market, it will make a correction itself? Here is an article by John Stossel:

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/JohnStossel/2007/10/10/medical_competition_works_for_patients

In fact, John Stossel has several articles relating to health care at townhall.com. It is interesting reading, and I would suggest as a counterpoint that people read them.

SiCKO: In a study of older Americans and Brits, the Brits had less of almost every major disease. Even the poorest Brit can expect to live longer than the richest American.

SiCKO: Canadians live three years longer than we do.

John Stossel also did an article relating to this issues as well:

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/...hy_the_us_ranks_low_on_whos_health-care_study
This discusses the lifestyle habits of Americans versus those of other countries. No health care system can make Americans change whether they choose to eat heathier, not smoke, etc. These are issues that directly affect the lifespan of individuals, and therefore the average lifespan in a country.


Although not a medical expert and just an investigative journalist, John Stossel makes some very interesting arguments in favor of a more free-market health care system, rather than either what we have now, or what the rest of the world has.
 

Makalakumu

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I have a libertarian friend who runs his wife's pediatrician practice as her business manager and here is how he puts the argument for a free market system of health care.

If we took government out of the game. If we made all of the rules the same between every state by eliminating the rules. If we stopped subsidizing health care and giving to "preferred" insurance companies. If we had a cash only system where everyone, no matter who you were, payed up front for the costs of health care, then health care costs would go down drastically...down to a point where you pay a penny for an aspirin instead of 50 bucks.

The reason is because the government is corrupt. They have been bought off by the major health insurance and drug companies, so they have changed all of the rules to stifle competition and prevent people from having any real choice when it comes to insurance. You get to either pick the bad guys or the bad guys. This regulation has allowed the health care companies jack the prices of health care up to a point where nobody can afford not to be insured.

Basically, with the corrupt government's help, the health care industry has destroyed ANY market forces in our system. Through a mixture of fear, extortion and tyranny, the government and private enterprise has conspired to completely take away any freedom the consumer might have had. A certain number of people NEED to fall through the cracks in this system so that the rest of us are so terrified that we willingly put our heads in this noose.

I don't know about you, but that is a convincing argument for me. At the very least, before we can even talk about "universal health care" the people need to revolt and wreck the system of government we have now?

Can you imagine if Hillary got elected and forced everybody under the umbrella of this system? That's why the health care companies love her so much now, because that is basically her solution. There would be absolutely nothing that anybody could do to stop the health care companies from charging whatever they pleased. And the taxes this system would generate would go right through the roof. It would be the perfect scam. Billions of dollars (more) of our tax money would now be placed directly in the pockets of these companies.

I think this is wrong. In fact, this makes me so angry when I think about it that I can completely understand why so many elite have gotten lynched in popular rebellions in the past. People need to wake up and realize that this truly is tyrannical. They put a pretty face on it and wrap it in the American flag, but the truth is that we are all just to terrified to look behind those curtains to see the wizard.

As you can see, I think that Michael Moore's film was right on in many respects and I think that his inclusion of criticism for Hellery was brilliant. But I think that his solution is too simplistic and would ultimately lead to more tyranny. We, as a people, have got a lot of work to do before we even think about expanding the role government to provide health care. Our government is a corporatist cancer that is feeding off of the livihood of the people. Kill the cancer, then lets talk about health care.
 

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I would suggest that it is not 'government' involvement, but rather two other parties involvment that causes the cost crisis.

Insurance Companies
Pharmaceutical Companies

I believe that involvement by the government would drastically reduce costs ... see medicare, it is an incredibly efficient system of delivering health care.

I work in an insurance related field (auto insurance, not health insurance), and this is my opinion and experience from personal observation.
 

Makalakumu

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I believe that involvement by the government would drastically reduce costs ... see medicare, it is an incredibly efficient system of delivering health care.

But how can we ensure that this doesn't just become another handout to the two major players? Right now, I would say that the system is just too corrupt. The two other parties (dems and reps) are bought and paid for.
 

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I have a libertarian friend who runs his wife's pediatrician practice as her business manager and here is how he puts the argument for a free market system of health care.

I think your friend is pretty much spot on. You actually don't need to look farther than NH for anecdotal evidence. Back a few governors ago, NH had 30+ different health care companies in operation. Costs for insurance were among the lowest in the company on a per capita basis and the number of insured was among the highest in the country. The governor came in, involved the government and the whole thing went south. By the end of that governor's term, only a scant few companies were left operating in NH - everyone else pulled or was forced out. Insurance prices skyrocketed due to this governmental control. The end result was a state that ranked among the lowest in the country in terms of number of insured and among the top in terms of highest cost per capita. A complete reversal.
 

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Yeti,

It is unclear to whom you are refering? What do you mean by 'NH'?

Then, if you could put some actual facts to your claims, it would also be helpful. Please tell us who the Insurance companies were before your suggested proximate cause, and which of those companies left. It would also be helpful if you could point to actual statements by those companies that left as to their reasons for leaving.

Also, if you could put some number to the phrase 'skyrocketed'.

You also mention, 'ranking's, could you share with us who was doing the rankings, and maybe actual links to their research. That would be good.


Lastly, your anecdote is a causation/correllation issue. You claim that all these drastic changes are in place because of a 'governor'. Does the legislature play a part? Federal Regulation? Changes in Demographics? It looks like you are trying to ascribe everything on a 'governor'. While the two events may have occured together, or in sequence, you have not established a correllation from event a to event b.


This post may have wandered too far afield for a thread on 'Sicko...' - much like the posts that focus on Mr. Moore, himself, rather than his work. My apologies. I believe that clear thinking is mandated in each instance.
 

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