Saturday, July 14, 2007

More on "Sicko"

[SPOILER ALERT] Christopher Hayes, in a review of "Sicko" in the July 16/23 issue of The Nation, writes:

Sicko is far, far less partisan than Fahrenheit, but much more ideological. And as such, it is more consistent in what it offers--with one major caveat. The film's final half-hour, in which Moore takes 9/11 rescue workers to Cuba, serves only to reinforce the decades-old slander that equates social democracy with repressive socialism. It's a major miscalculation and nearly squanders the first hour and a half of the film in which Moore so deftly guts arguments that socialized medicine represents the vanguard of Marxism. . . .

I said I wasn't going to give the movie away, but I must say this. The point Moore was making is that the reviled "enemy combatants" imprisoned at the U.S. base in Guantanamo--including people who presumably had a hand in orchestrating the 9/11 attacks--get better (and of course, free) healthcare than the Americans who got sick working at "Ground Zero" following 9/11.

People are shown testifying before the U.S. Congress (I assume) as to how excellent the prisoners' medical treatment is. Moore and his group of sick 9/11 workers et al. go to Cuba to get some of this great, free treatment at Guantanamo and are turned away, of course. But as long as they're in the vicinity, they go to Cuba proper and get the (free) medical treatment they need.

Moore's point: Is it not ironic that the nasty terrorists at Guantanamo receive the best healthcare America has to offer, something denied to sick American patriots? What does it say about our healthcare system that the U.S. government gives better treatment to suspected terrorists than it allows for its own citizens?

The U.S. government puts the healthcare of its own citizens in the hands of profiteers whose sole purpose is to make money by denying people the healthcare they need.

Hayes goes on to write:

But that final section aside, the film functions as a compelling advertisement for an alternative way of ordering society, one in which, as in France, there's vacation, paid sick time, doctors who make house calls and even, amazingly, a state-supplied nanny who will come to your house and do your laundry after you've had a child. Who wouldn't want that? . . .

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