Sunday, March 7, 2010

Health Care Reform

I'll admit, I almost always ignore the national news, especially when it comes down to the politics of things.  Recently, in my Social Stratification and Inequality class, we watched Michael Moore's film "Sicko," about several nationalized health care systems in comparison with the United States' system.  One of the first scenes is about a man who had to choose between the tip of his ring finger ($12,000) or the tip of his middle finger ($60,000) because he didn't have adequate health insurance.  It talked about how insurance companies are in it to get rich, just like every other corporation, verses trying to make sure every American citizen has the opportunity to live a healthy life.  If the man had lost his fingers in another country (Canada, the UK or France [we didn't have time to watch the part about Cuba]), it's likely he would have been able to keep both of his fingers, with no or extremely little cost to him.

Personally, I believe that if we were to model our system after one of the countries in this movie, or even aspects of all of them, and offered free health care to all, our country would be better off.  Sure, the class and status of doctors might be lowered, but do they really need 4 houses or 3 sports cars?  Can people change their mindset from money to helping people?  I'm down for paying a chunk of my paycheck towards a system that will allow me to seek health care when I need it.  Currently, I'm uninsured, because, guess what?  I can't afford it.  I'm one of like 6 million Americans that strives to live safely and avoid getting hurt.  Last November, however, I failed to do so.  I'm currently waiting on a slow system to get me all of my paperwork in order. Thankfully, they cut my bill by 35%, but the total from all of the bills is still greater than $1000, that I don't have.

Americans live shorter lives than people in the countries with nationalized health care.  We're stressing about money from doctors bills.  We take the "fix it when it's broken" approach versus a preventative care approach.  If all Americans were to quit being stupid with their decisions and care a little more about their bodies, we'd live longer too.

Like I said before, I don't know the specifics of the health care bills that are going through Congress, but I think people should watch the film "Sicko" before complaining so much about a nationalized system.

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