All of the pieces I've read about “Sicko,” have what I find to be a glaring omission.
Not one mentions the comments by Tony Benn, a former member of Britain's Parliament. Yet Benn's statements probably are the most profound element of the film.
He notes, as other good people often do, that “if we have the money to kill (in war), we've got the money to help people.”
But, more importantly, Benn tells Moore, that all of Europe and many other places have good health care systems while the United States lacks such a basic service because in Europe and elsewhere, “the politicians are afraid of the people” when the people get angry and demand some action. In the United States, he observes, “the people are afraid of those in power” because they fear losing their jobs, fear being cut off from health care or other services if they speak up and make demands.
“How do you control people?” Benn asks, and he answers: “Through fear and debt.”
His point is that in the United States we have a great overabundance of both.
Yeah, I know. I have written about it quite a lot. But James Fuller makes another point in his movie review that I think is worth mentioning:
[I]f the gutless Democrats went out and explained, clearly and often, how a government run single payer system actually works, and what it really costs, and what the people of Canada, France, Britain, Germany and other countries really think of their health care systems, the ignorance-rooted suspicion could be reversed in a matter of months. And I believe that is true even assuming the inevitable all-out ad and PR campaign by the insurance and pharmaceutical industries to protect their enormous profits.
(Does it occur to anyone that the profits they suck from our system, while we struggle for and often are refused decent health care, are truly enormous if the industries are willing and able to spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year to protect those profits?)
Every American I know is fed up with our present health care mess, and more and more are deeply angry.
I would use the term "taxpayer-funded" (not "government run") single payer health care program. The government doesn't need to "run" it, it just needs to be the payment mechanism. There is no doubt that SiCKO is raising the level of conversation on the issue of national health care. I just hope that it can lead to a policy change.