Posted by: canthold | March 14, 2008

Two Sickos

My husband and I watched Sicko a couple of nights ago. It’s a really interesting movie and I’d highly recommend it. Michael Moore really slams the HMOs, and I’m sure they deserve it, but I’ve had a very positive experience with my own. They order tests that they think I need and they treat whatever ails me. I think that my co-payment for one of my kids to be born was about $250, but the other one didn’t cost me anything. Or at least that is how I remember it. (I have not been treated for memory loss – at least to my recollection.)

This sinus infection/bronchitis that I’ve been suffering from lately was even taken care of over the phone. I couldn’t get an appointment when I needed one and I arranged for the doc to call me and prescribe antibiotics. It worked out very well and since I know my own body pretty well, I could practically cure myself except that the pharmacy doesn’t recognize the medical degree I got out of a cereal box.

I do like the idea that socialized medicine works. I’m really tired of the American Propaganda Machine. I’m tired of the rah rah that we give to our way of life when it just might not be the best one out there. Sure these other countries pay a lot in taxes and we American’s hate taxes, but I wonder at the cost differential between taxes to pay for Universal Healthcare versus the cost to Self Insure. We are a lucky family with a great medical plan through my husband’s employer, but we are paying a lot for it, no matter how you slice it.

And dental, don’t get me started! Okay, too late.

That painful crown that I had put on in December…I might need a root canal now. I had this gold overlay for almost twenty years and then I got a cavity in the little bit of tooth still showing. My husband’s dentist – I guess he’s mine now, too – sawed off my overlay and gave me a beautiful porcelain crown to replace it. I have not been able to chew on that side of my mouth since then and have only just now worked up the courage to call the dentist to tell him. As a result, I have an appointment to investigate whether I’ll need a root canal or not.

My husband and I are disagreement about whether the replacement crown caused the new problems or whether I’d have them anyway. I don’t want to blame this dentist, but it’s a terrible coincidence if it’s not his fault. And it cost me almost $1000 even with our great dental insurance. In Sicko, these folks go to Cuba and a guy gets all new teeth for free. They weren’t even Cubans and we’re supposed to be enemies! How’s that for crazy? I’m not looking forward to taking care of this to say the least. My anxiety over this new trouble is going to age me five years.

The movie shows Americans who live abroad and their experiences and impressions of how the US has missed the boat on taking care of her citizens. It’s funny to see that right after I told my husband that if another Republican got elected that I wanted to leave this country. I want to have faith in democracy, but I’m floundering right now. How did Bush get elected twice? What if they get it wrong again? Well, wrong is my opinion, and if I live in a society that chooses to put people in power who don’t care about civil liberties or women’s right to govern their own bodies, I just don’t think I belong. (My sympathies to Michelle Obama for getting raked over the coals for expressing this feeling.)

We’ll see. I’m selling the idea to my husband that he can ride his bike all over France and perhaps become a domestiqueto a racing team. I know which buttons to push! But again, we’ll see. I think that the time has come for Universal Healthcare and the Democratic presidential candidates are poised to pull the trigger. It’s time to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves. I’m happy to be feeling better these days, but I want our country to treat those who are not with a little more care.



  1. It’s the same in the UK, many people now have to travel abroad for dental treatment through sites like because the national health system has failed and private dentists are much too expensive, especially for implants, crowns and veneers.

  2. I absolutely love that movie, it revealed so much to me that I wasn’t before so aware of. That and well, Michael Moore is my hero at times.

  3. I especially liked where he said that in France the government is afraid of the people (and gives them what they want) and here the people are afraid of the government. I’d like to turn that around.

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