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Sicko Reviewed: the Healthcare Struggles Displayed

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The Sicko Movie displayed many healthcare struggles that are being experienced in the United States. The film also takes us through how insurance companies weed out prospective individuals from coverage based on their illnesses. If an illness is not initially found during the enrollment process, there is another department that is put into place to further investigate our application and medical history. For instance, doctors have found to have the highest percentage of denying patient critical care are congratulated with a monetary bonus. It was discovered when hospitals must perform advanced care on a patient, this is deemed a medical loss. A medical loss would be reported in these cases because instead of money coming into their establishments, it is going out. A former insurance employee explains how he is instructed to retrieve back money spent by insurance companies. He is even able to go back as far as five years to find anything to negate an applicant’s approval for healthcare services. This includes finding a preexisting injury and or raising the insurance rates so high that the applicant will no longer be able to afford coverage. The United States was not always in this dire state of Americans being refused healthcare coverage. This turmoil began back in the year of 1971 when during this time, Richard Nixon was president of the United States. 

Nixon would discuss the process of incorporating HMO’s into all healthcare facilities. Health Maintenance Organizations have a team of their own physicians and healthcare practices who have agreed to take payment at the same criteria of the services that they are provided. Not soon after, this plan worked as less and less patients were given the medical care that the needed. Emergency room visits became more overly populated with wait times lingering into the wee hours of the morning. There was no surprise when it is found that the United States plummeted all the way to number 37 on the list for healthcare. Many wonders why Universal Healthcare has not become established in the United States yet. The horrible truth to this question is that there would be too much revenue lost of everyone was given free healthcare. In the year of 1996, a former medical reviewer by the name of Linda Peeno stood before congress to explain the dangers of managed care. She recalls one incident where she was responsible for a patient death as she denied him an operation that would have saved his life. Not only was Linda Peeno not questioned or fined for these unethical acts, but instead rewarded which secured her position in the medical field. 

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Linda Peeno went from making a few hundred dollars a week to an astounding six figure income. Even with the likes of Peeno finally taking a stand against managed care, America still has not taken the proper steps to ensure that all American citizens are treated with dignity and respect. During the documentary, there are different countries that are visited which has free healthcare for all citizen. First, Britain offers the NHH insurance which has been around since 1948. This stands for the National Health Service which guarantees free hospital stays, ambulance rides, radiation, and any complex surgeries. Their doctors are paid by the government on a lucrative salary which doctors live comfortably on. There is also an incentive that was put into place where the doctors who have a successful rate of treating patients effectively, will receive a bonus for their hard work and dedication. This makes British doctors strive even harder for their patients and making sure that their care and recovery is their top priority. Next, a trip is taken to Canada to see just how contrasting their healthcare practices are to America. From what the news sources were displaying, we wouldn’t want to practice their healthcare habits. To surprise, it was found that the waiting area for Canadian hospitals were twice as less the wait time as it was in America. For Michael Moore to prove his point even further, his relatives in Canada introduced him to a friend who had the misfortunate of vacationing in America and abstaining an injury while there. 

The injury involved a hospital stay that raked up an astounding amount of almost a half million dollars. We next take the example of another Canadian who also had an accident while vacating in America and was subjected to medical bills that totaled over $20,000. Instead of getting the medical attention in America, he opted to return to his hometown of Canada where is recovery and medical expenses were free of charge. The Canadians give thanks to a man named Tommy Douglas who introduced and changed the minds of all citizens that healthcare should be universal. The next country that was visited regarding healthcare was France. France goes by one simple standard which is treating people according to their needs and not what that person can afford. When asked how France was able to provide free health insurance to their citizens, the answer was simple in nature. France citizens know how to stick together and are not afraid to stand up for injustices. In closing, I have realized that these countries possess what the United States is lacking, which is the ability to work together no matter what religion, race, financial status, or creed. Many of us do not like the idea of being uncomfortable with our backs up against the wall. Sometimes to get results, we have no choice but to create our own road to success. If we want better, we must make our voices heard until congress understands that we are a nation that can’t be bought. 

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