Jun 18 2007

Medical Care In America

Published by at 1:20 pm under Activities,Current Affairs,General

This is an old article and the information contained within it may be out of date, not reflect my current views and/or contain broken links. If you feel this article is still valid and requires updating, you can use the contact form to let me know. However, I make no guarantee that it will get updated.

I just finished watching Michael Moores new film Sicko which hasn’t yet been released to cinemas. Its a real eye opener about the state of health and medical care in the USA today. It seems that in the USA, even those that think they are fully covered by medical insurance are still getting a rough deal, with insurance companies finding any loop-hole to get out of paying for their clients care.

This is what happens when services are provided on a “for-profit” basis. Those that stand to make the most money will damn well make sure that they make as much money as possible and wont hesitate for a second to think about what affect that may have on other peoples lives, and I do mean lives. The Health and Medical Organisations (HMOs) of the USA are treating peoples insurance policies as if they are warranties for a computer or a car, rather than the difference between life and death, which they really are.

When I took my one and only holiday to the USA in 1996 (I think) I had an accident whilst ride the mountain bike I had just bought (Americans decided to switch the front & rear brake levers >_<). I sustained a cut to my leg that required stitches and so the person we were staying with took me to the local hospital. I’d heard stories about going to hospital in the USA but it still came as a shock when the first question asked was “How are you going to be paying?”. The fact that I had blood pouring out of my leg seemed irrelevant at the time, the hospital just wanted to make sure that they were going to get their money. Luckily we had good travel insurance that covered the treatment.

As with all Michael Moore files you need to watch the film with a rather large bag of salt, as he tends to take a rather extreme view of things. For example he paints a rosy picture of the British NHS, which anyone the reads the British papers will know isn’t doing too well at the moment. However, it is a very thought provoking film and well worth watching.

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