It goes without saying that one of the most disputed issues in the United States is the country’s health care system. Michael Moore (2007) highlighted this issue in his film Sicko which also raised numerous questions. The film is concerned with disadvantages of the US health care system which is also compared to the same institutions of Great Britain, France and Canada.
However, it is important to note that Moore’s vision is quite biased since the film focuses on all bad what is in the US health care system and all the best existing in other countries, but positive points in the US system and drawbacks in other countries systems are not highlighted at all.
The US health care system from Moore’s perspective
Admittedly, health care system is one of the most important systems in any country. The major value of any country is (or at least should be) well-being of its citizens and health care system is aimed at keeping citizens healthy and productive for the sake of the country. It goes without saying that some states are not preoccupied with well-being of their citizens, and these countries are usually called developing.
Therefore, it is possible to define a state’s values and capacity taking into consideration the peculiarities of its health care system. Moore’s (2007) documentary reveals quite a specific “tragic” image of the United States (Caplan, 2007). According to the documentary the US health care system is shaped for those who have money and those who want to make money, since all Americans are under-insured or not insured at all.
Moore’s sociological imagination and the image created
Such an image is drawn with the help of Moore’s sociological imagination who manages to highlight various aspects of the problem: from individuals’ commentaries to corporations’ analysis, and politicians’ ideas on the issue. For instance, Moore (2007) portrays a girl who is talking about her accident in a car and depicting a nightmare of addressing to an insurance company.
On the other hand, there is an episode from Reagan’s propaganda as for “socialization” and “threats” of “social” ways in health care system. However, it is necessary to point out that in spite of the fact that the issue is viewed from quite different perspectives the image created is still one-sided.
It goes without saying that health care system is the most important social institution in any country since it is concerned with humans’ health and lives. Admittedly, education or legal systems are quite secondary in this perspective. Thus, Moore’s major idea that it should be available for all citizens is justified and accepted by many. However, Moore is concentrated on the fact that if an individual does not have enough money he/she will suffer from the horrors of the US health care system.
More so, Moore highlights one of the most controversial issues concerning insurance. He portrays the case of Linda Pino who claimed she was pushed to reject people from financing since it meant increase in salary and social position for her. Admittedly, there have been cases when insurance companies violated all possible rules to make money, but any case of should be regarded very carefully since not all insurers are like that.
The majority of them try to do their job as good s possible and correctly decide whether the service will be helpful, or, maybe, there is someone who needs it more (Mahar, 2007). Nevertheless, as has been mentioned above Moore focuses on negative, dark sides of the health care system in the US.
It is necessary to point out that Moore does not only criticize American health care system, but illustrates possible solutions. He suggests using experience of such countries as France, Canada or Great Britain. For instance, Tony Benn, Former “Prominent Member of the Labour party”, claim that in Great Britain they decided that everyone must have equal access to health care services (Moore, 2007).
According to Benn it occurred to them that it is possible to make money and provide high quality health care system simultaneously. It sounds like Utopia, but Moore speaks to a British doctor who drives a good car, lives in a nice house and helps everyone without even knowing how people pay for these services.
Moore’s creates an image of possible easy changes due to simple understanding that all people should access the health care service equally. However, Moore never asks intriguing questions like “What are you paying in taxes?” (LaSalle, 2007). Moore’s intriguing questions are targeting only American health care system.
Some regard the film as propaganda and it is the appropriate definition since Moore promulgates the idea that US health care system should be changed since it is absolute evil. It goes without saying that serious and high-quality film should not become that kind of propaganda.
For instance, Smith (2007) criticized Moore’s film for this claiming that the health care systems which revealed as perfect also have numerous drawbacks. It is so. Canadian health care system, for example, is being criticized by Canadians since the quality of service is not that high, there are still long queues and waiting lists (Beach et al, 2006). More so, apart from universal insurance which covers all Canadians, there is private insurance which is not that cheap.
On balance, Moore’s documentary can be regarded as a sort of propaganda of quite low quality, since Moore’s bias is evident. The documentary reveals American health care system as the worst system in the world highlighting only negative aspects, and says nothing about positive aspects of the system. This is the major mistake of Moore who managed to create an amusing horror movie, rather than a serious in-depth documentary.
Beach, C.M. , Chaykowski, R., Shortt, S. (2006). Health Services Restructuring in Canada: New Evidence and New Directions. Ontario: IRPP.
Caplan, A. (2007, June 28). Nothing Funny about ‘Sicko’ State of Health Care. Breaking Biothics. Retrieved from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19461932/ns/health-health_care/.
LaSalle, M. (2007, June 29). Need a Doctor? That’s Too Bad. Article Collections: SFGate.com. Retrieved from http://articles.sfgate.com/2007-06-29/entertainment/17248680_1_sicko-health-care-single-payer-system
Mahar, M. (2007, July 4). Policy: Sicko and Healthcare Reform. The Health Care Blog. Retrieved from http://thehealthcareblog.com/blog/2007/07/04/policy-sicko-and-healthcare-reform-by-maggie-mahar-with-update/
Moore, M. (Director). (2007). Sicko [ Motion picture]. United States: Dog Eat Dog Films, Weinstein Company.
Smith, K. (2007, June 19). Botched Operation: Crazy Moore Offers Wrong Prescription. New York Post. Retrieved from http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/movies/item_elMTgb4EQmuNfXFZB7Q5LL