Michael Moore is handing out fake bandages to promote his new film Sicko, an exposé of the failings of the U.S. health care system.
But he may feel like applying a couple to himself after the mauling he received yesterday from several Canadian journalists – present company included – following the film’s first viewing at the Cannes Film Festival.
We Canucks were taking issue with the large liberties Sicko takes with the facts, with its lavish praise for Canada’s government-funded medicare system compared with America’s for-profit alternative.
While justifiably demonstrating the evils of an American system where dollars are the major determinant of the quality of medicare care a person receives, and where restoring a severed finger could cost an American $60,000 compared to nothing at all for a Canadian, Sicko makes it seem as if Canada’s socialized medicine is flawless and that Canadians are satisfied with the status quo.
The Canadian journalist can’t be that naive. The Canadian certainly pays to have a severed finger removed. It makes no difference if he pays the hospital, his insurance company, or the government taxing authority. The amount he pays may be different, but that’s a matter of economic risk redistribution, not the allegedly-but-not-really free health care that nationalized systems provide. That’s before we discuss the economic rationing necessary for Canada to provide such a service “for free”.
I’ve never heard of an American not having his finger reattached due to lack of funds. I’m open to hearing about such stories, if they exist. Regardless, this issue is far more complex than some people don’t like paying “a lot” for health care.