Sunday, 15 July 2007


'Ambulance it costs too much, we'll take a van/ If they can't fix me no one can'- The Faint, Take Me To the Hospital
Did Michael Moore miss a trick or what not having The Faint on his soundtrack? It's his film in song form!
So we watched Sicko last night. I enjoyed it although it was a bit depressing (obviously) and a bit heavy-handed at times (the jump from the French living in bliss to American patients being dumped on the street, for example, it ain't subtle, is it? Having said that, I DO want to go live in France now.)
In some ways Moore is preaching to the converted. We in England already know that free hospitals are a good thing (how could they not be?) But I wonder just how ignorant and kept in the dark the American people are about the benefits? Really, it is an absolute disgrace that the richest country in the world has such a poor record for infant deaths and mortality rates. It is something that the country should be deeply ashamed of.
I felt absolutely horrified that people are essentially left to die because they don't have enough money. It is morally abhorrent. Even seeing George Bush's face on TV makes my stomach churn these days. He is an evil person. How much of a jump is it from denying poor people the right to medicine to being a baby-eating lizard, REALLY? Honestly, I feel like anything is possible. I would never have believed that people could be capable of such mercenary cruelty. It is a simple part of being human to help others. What part of Christianity (which Bush constantly uses as an excuse for dropping bombs left right and centre) says that dying babies should be moved to a different hospital? What part of Christianity says that an inhaler that costs five cents in Cuba should cost a hundred and twenty dollars in America? Seriously, how can these people sleep at night? How?
The fact that Canada, their next door neighbour has free healthcare speaks for itself. The Americian government try and devalue its worth, but how can getting check ups and advice at the very least be a BAD thing? It can't.
When Moore came to the UK to see how the NHS works it was all done through very rose-tinted spectacles (that NHS doctor might live in a posh house in Greenwich but he looked like he might collapse from exhaustion at any given minute), but the facts DO speak for themselves. We take for granted that we can have babies for free. We take for granted that if we get ill, we will be looked after.
The fact is, we DO pay for this, with our compulsory National Insurance. But everyone who can pay pays. And everyone who can't, doesn't. Which means that yes, some undeserving people probably do get medical attention. People probably do abuse the system. Some people will pay their contributions forever and never go to hospital. Some people will never work a day in their life and cost us a fortune. But rather that than get a brain tumour and lose your house. It's right that we should all pay if we can afford to. Because for an ambulance driver to ask for a cheque or a credit card is inhumane. That is not their role. I can't even imagine being out of work and worrying about getting sick because I couldn't afford it. It's just sick.
I thought the whole Guantanamo Bay thing was a bit weird and off and not really in keeping with the whole film. Shouldn't Moore be protesting about Guantanamo, not saying they are treated to better healthcare than the Americans? What treatment should prisoners (who have not had a fair trial) get? Beaten then dumped on the floor to rot? Something tells me the 9/11 rescue workers were best off out of there. Although clearly it is disgusting the government hasn't helped them. But it seems the government isn't really there to help at all, are they?
I enjoyed the little sting in the tail of the guy from the Michael Moore hate-site who was going to have to shut down his website because his wife had to go to hospital (and he had to pay for it). Moore sent him an anonymous cheque for twelve thousand dollars so that the guy could keep spreading the hate and get his wife sorted out! What brilliant revenge. Surely that guy would have to agree with the message behind this film now? Probably not though. Some people are just too damn stubborn.
Will this film change anything? I don't know. The lizards are too powerful. But it should.

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