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Posted on 2007.17.06 at 10:26
where am I: home
How I feel about it all: awakeawake
Soundtrack: computer fan
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I don't know why this is here or how long it will be here, but Michael Moore's Sicko is up on Google video. I debated whether I wanted to see it now, but then I decided I would, since I'm sure I'm going to end up seeing it on the big screen anyway.
I'm just ten minutes into it, so I don't have a review.

Whether or not you're a fan of his, it's about time someone in popular media addressed the subject of healthcare in the US. It's one of the main issues, if not THE main issue, that's going to affect my choice for President this time. Those of you who live in a country with a national health system (read: every other developed country in the WORLD), I'd especially like to know what y'all think of the film.

ETA: Um, yeah. Watch this, if you have any time at all. It's not perfect, but it's hella revealing, and it's about time.


The Foo Queen
erebor at 2007-06-17 18:58 (UTC) ()
Thanks for posting, I'm watching it now.

Want to hear my story about insurance company behavior? I had searing migraines for 10 years, accompanied by depression (well, duh). I was on medication that required a letter of medical necessity for the insurance co(CIGNA) to cover because it was a very strong, very expensive name brand with no generic. The letter needed to be resubmitted annually, and I was okay with that. BUT .... somehow, that darned, silly insurance company just kept mislaying my letter. I would have to get my doctor to fax a new letter ALL the time, just to get my normal refill. Never a fun experience, but once it took CIGNA a long time to confirm I was entitled to the meds. About a week after I had run out of the meds that NO ONE is supposed to come off of without a slow wind-down, and I'm sitting in my apartment on a Saturday afternoon going crazy with withdrawals. I finally called CIGNA, crying and begging. Still I got doubletalk. And you know what? The moment I said I was feeling suicidal and didn't know if I would survive the weekend and it was on THEIR heads, I had that medication approved and a supervisor on the phone offering an apology, and never again had a problem with lost letters.

Hey, yep. Nothing like a little threat of liability and the fear of a mulit-million dollar lawsuit to get one of the largest insurance companies in America to suddenly "find" your paperwork.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2007-06-17 23:04 (UTC) ()
I'd love to talk to you about the med issue, because I really think the pharmaceutical companies are in bed with the insurance companies (who are having a grand old threesome with a lot of the doctors as well). In your case it looks like they were at odds, though, but I wonder what was going on underneath.

I work in a private psych hospital and patients tell me that they can't get their insurance companies to pay for their stay unless they say they're suicidal. The problem with that is, that when I get report on a patient, it almost always says they're suicidal, and I don't know whether to believe it or not when the patient says he/she isn't. Things like that can cost the patient their life, because how we do our safety precautions is very closely based on how safe the patient feels.

I've also seen patients unable to get the treatment that might mean the difference between recovery and relapse and not be able to get it because they don't fit the criteria. It's like it says in the film, these people aren't slipping through the cracks, they're being dragged toward the cracks and pushed in. And people wonder why I balk at the whole "the US is the best nation in the world" theory. Because quite obviously, it isn't (apparently it's Norway these days, according to the UN). The sad thing is that the US has so many good people and really good things about it, and we could be so, so much better. [/rant]
The Foo Queen
erebor at 2007-06-17 23:28 (UTC) ()
Yes, I agree that it's a nice collusion between the pharmaceutical companies and the insurance companies. The doctors sometimes get stuck in between (one of my doctors used to go on rants about insurance companies and how they tried to fuck with his patient's treatments without his permission). I think the concept of major medical coverage as it is practiced in this country was originally dreamed up or championed by pharmaceutical companies because it makes it so convenient for us to give up our power. I mean, we never really shop around for the best priced medications, we just abdicate that control and pay our $5 co-pay. And that's a LOT of power and a LOT of money. We shut our eyes until the day we are in big trouble.

My pharmacist back in New York was a prince of a guy. An old-school pharmacist. He once told me in all confidentiality that things were "going on" with the insurance company that he couldn't tell me about because he had to adhere to a non-disclosure agreement in order to get their business. But he impressed upon me fervently to BE CAREFUL and TRUST NO ONE where insurance was concerned.

And yay for this film for saying nice things about the French. I am SO SICK of people dissing the French. And all they are doing is repeating by rote what they have heard on the media. When I confront and ask for specifics, they are at a loss. It's just another area where Americans act like sheep.

I've been thinking a lot lately about getting out of the country. I'm thinking about applying for a transfer to Hamburg after Rikya passes away.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2007-06-18 05:39 (UTC) ()
I've been thinking a lot lately about getting out of the country.

Dude. I think about it all the time. If it weren't for the fact that I love my family and wouldn't want to be so far away from them, I'd do some real research in the matter. Like hiring an immigration lawyer.
lipsum at 2007-06-18 00:44 (UTC) ()
I had to stop after about half an hour. I already hate insurance companies with a soul-deep loathing. Throughout my childhood, my dad worked for the county hospital and our insurance plan changed wildly every two years, sometimes preventing us from being able to see the same doctor. This was a big deal, because my sister and I both had asthma & allergies (this started back when they used to claim that kids under a certain age couldn't even *have* asthma) and I was missing a week of school out of every month due to repeated bouts of pneumonia. [Well, it was only *that* bad for one year. But I spent the next five or ten years convinced that I was never going to be able to hold down a job.]

Anyway, what really filled me with insurance industry hate was that my mother ran a support group for parents of asthmatic & allergic children, and she'd come home with horror stories.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2007-06-18 05:39 (UTC) ()
I work in a psych hospital, and I come home with horror stories a lot. People who could actually recover if they had the support of the system. Which, of course, they don't.
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