POOR correspondent - Posted on 18 June 2010

Marlon Crump
Tuesday, August 7, 2007;

By Marlon Crump

"We got an issue in America. Too many good docs are getting out of business. Too many OB/GYNs aren't able to practice their... their love with women all across the country."

President George W. Bush got the crowd roaring at the Kabuki Theater during Michael Moore's latest documentary, Sicko.

I was sitting in the theater with the POOR Magazine family- to view and respond to Moore's critique of the health care crisis in America. I had never viewed any of his other films but had heard many critics deeming them too political, inaccurate and controversial for the average viewer. After viewing Sicko, I can only imagine how well made, poignant and thought-provoking these films must be.

Just watching the first two minutes of the movie, of an unknown man literally sewing up his own leg wound and another having to decide which of his fingers would be cheaper to have re-attached, I immediately realized that this wasn't going to be just any ordinary documentary on the cost of medical hospitalization, affordable health care insurance, or even the right to be seen by a doctor at the average county hospital.

Moore's film not only gave a serious in-depth look at who, what, where, when, and how ultra-inhumane the U.S.A has been towards those in need of affordable healthcare insurance, treatment, and medication, but he also gave a fantastic timeline of the origin of possibly the most notorious hospital in AmeriKKKa today: Kaiser Permanente.

Michael Moore went so far as to date all the way back to o'l "Tricky Nick" himself, Richard Nixon and his connection/relationship to Edgar Kaiser, as he pitifully politically-proposed a "healthcare system" beneficial to the U.S Government, in 1971. "That's not a bad idea" Tricky Nick, slyly replied.

He also connected the dots between Ronald Reagan, Former First Lady, and New York State Senator, Hilary Clinton, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. These were just some of the people that played an extremely crucial role in the theft of healthcare.

The first hellthcare story of the many that would be shared throughout the movie was about a couple who had very decent and stable careers- the husband was a Union worker, and his wife worked as a newspaper columnist. Within the coming years, the poor couple found themselves totally depleted of their savings and nest eggs, after the husband had to cover very expensive bills, when he suffered five heart attacks, back-to-back.

After paying off sneaky, corruptive clauses in healthcare applications, they discovered they were uninsured for the necessary treatments the husband needed to survive. At retirement age and after years of hard work, they were forced to move in with one of their sons, who didn't seem at all willing to aid his mom and dad in crisis.

This was just one of the heartbreaking stories that "Sicko" depicted. Another was a story of a woman in Georgia had lost her husband, after a "denial" of the couple's application to cover the costs for an operation on the husband's brain tumor.

"Sorry, we sympathize with you and your husband's life threatening condition, but I'm sorry we can't help him." The wife lashed out, "If I was someone wealthy, you would save my husband." The board members replied, "Uh, no that's not the reason, ma'am." As the wife walked away, she sadly muttered with conviction, "I already know why, I do. It's because I'm white and my husband's Black."

Listening to all these people's stories and pain, I thought about the Saint Vincent Charity Hospital, where my very own grandma died three years ago, in Cleveland, Ohio. At 73, she underwent many extreme surgeries and died without proper healthcare. I still remember the pain and anger I felt at watching her pass away under such conditions.

Moore also broke down the difference between AmeriKKKan Values and many various countries, regarding their morality towards its own citizens.

"In places like France, governments fear their citizens, when it comes to uprisings, outcries, and protests," one American woman living in France noted - a striking difference between America, where citizens fear their own government.

In London, England, though widely known as an expensive place to reside, the healthcare system covers all citizens and people are REALLY able to get treatment for any illness, wound, length of prognosis, etc, etc. France, and even Cuba virtually treat any patient, regardless of how serious a health problem, the way a human being is supposed to be treated.

When asked on many occasions by Moore, himself, about any payments, insurance coverage, or even money for prescription medications, all of them replied "No such thing here."  Moore was flabbergasted, even asking pharmacy cashiers in England and France, why the sign says "cashier" if no one had to pay? (In reality it was a window for people to get reimburse for public transportation)

Seeing how much our government doesn't support its own people suffering from serious health problems, I, myself, was speechless and dismayed, as much as others were in the audience. We are lucky to even get care- much less reimbursement for public transportation.

Moore also showed Linda Peeno, a former medical reviewer for Humana, one of the few in the hellthcare system that honestly addressed the role she was forced to play, testifying at a congressional hearing about denying people care that were deemed "unfortunate" or "unfavorable" to make money.

Moore even attacked Hilary Clinton, who for a time took an active role in helping with the Clinton Health Care Plan, in 1993. The Clinton Administration attempted to legislate by Congress, declaring Universal Healthcare for all. Congress, of course, abruptly put a stop to the plan, and sided with major hospital corporations. Interesting enough, Film Producer Harry Weinstein (whose company also financed Michael Moore's film) once contributed to Hilary's first senate campaign, and asked Moore to remove the scene from his film, but in typical Michael Moore style, he refused.

Toward the end of the film, Moore showed clips of the history of John F. Kennedy and his declaration that Cuba's Ruler, Fidel Castro was "a ruthless dictator and a threat" yet Castro's very own country of Cuba welcomed American Citizens with open arms.

Michael Moore, out of the absolute goodness of his heart, took people needing treatment to Cuba to get help. Some of the people he took to Cuba were Ground Zero workers, one a retired fire fighter of 9/11 who after their volunteer efforts of digging amidst the rubble, became exposed to life-threatening respiratory infections, but shockingly received no health aid, whatsoever.

I couldn't believe this! The worst terror attack on American soil, in history, and no aid for people who risked their lives, volunteering to clear up rubble and debris on Ground Zero get no aid because they weren't city workers?!! This was just many of the very scenes in the movie that made me feel anger and rage at our government.

Moore's depiction of the HELLthcare crisis in Amerikkka is a must-see for everyone, like myself, suffering in this country without real, humane healthcare. From the beginning scene of the man sewing up his own leg to the stories of people denied care because of pre-existing conditions to parents losing their children from being turned away at emergency rooms, Sicko is truly an education in the hellthcare system of this country. Moore paints a bleak picture of the hellthcare system's creation and past, but provides some hope for the future by showing us all the possibility of real healthcare and how its been accomplished in places all over the world.



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