Well, the Michael Moore movie Sicko, about our broken health care system, opens tomorrow. Here's something from an article called "Watch SiCKO and Call Your Congressman in the Morning":
Listen up, powers that be. The American people want national health care. It's the right thing to do and you KNOW it!
There is nothing particularly startling about any of the stories Moore presents of average Americans who are bankrupted, or who grow sicker, or who desperately seek treatment abroad, or who die because health insurance bureaucrats denied or restricted the care they could receive. When Moore put out an invitation on the Internet for people to come forward with their “health care horror stories,” he got more than 3,700 responses in the first 24 hours—within a week, he had amassed more than 25,000 stories.
We are guilty of national malpractice for allowing the profit motive to drive decisions about who gets health care, and of what sort.
After Moore’s film opens nationally on Friday, loud and contentious political talk about it is sure to grow louder. Much of it, no doubt, will be aimed at discrediting the national medical systems of Canada, Britain, France—and yes, Cuba—that Moore holds up as models of compassionate efficiency. Much of it will consist of screeching broadsides aimed at Moore, who unnerves conservatives because he is not some pointy-headed liberal professor from Cambridge but a funny guy from Flint, Mich., who wears a baseball cap and did precisely what the right always preaches: He found something he was good at, and made a fortune doing it.
Much discussion also will be premised on the assumption that what Moore advocates—government-funded health care that would be available to everyone—is politically impossible in the United States because the American public recoils from it. Balderdash.
The public embraces Medicare, which is government-funded health care that is available to all elderly people. It has an enduring affection for Social Security, another government-funded, universal benefit.
As for government-funded health insurance, it would be enlightening if those who so reflexively assert that the public has already rejected it would just ask—well, the public. In a May CNN poll, 64 percent said they thought the government should “provide a national health insurance program for all Americans, even if this would require higher taxes.” In February, the New York Times/CBS poll found that 60 percent were willing to pay higher taxes so that everyone had insurance. In January, the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll asked a similar question about paying more taxes for universal insurance and again a majority said yes.