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Daily Editorial: ‘Sicko’ feeds healthy debate

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail CO, Colorado

It’s worth seeing, this new Michael Moore film decrying the state of health care in the U.S. Sure, Moore is up to his usual tricks in “Sicko”: one-sided storytelling, Dickensian pulling at the heartstrings and gross over-simplification.

At the same time, he does all Americans (yes, conservatives, too) a service by rough-sketching the ignoble picture of a health care system that’s functioning about as well as a Baghdad power plant. Take some, most or all of Moore’s message, but at least recognize another worthy chapter in the ongoing wake-up call we seem fated to ignore.

Sometimes, it takes someone with a camera and a willingness to look objectively at a situation to illustrate most clearly that which we all know: U.S. health care, in many ways, is not at all reflective of the great nation we purport to be. We hear of places with seemingly magical health care systems like France and Canada and wonder why the U.S., the world leader in making taxpayer-funded stuff for killing people abroad, can’t do a better job of spreading some wealth around to make people better here at home.



Are we that screwed up or cold-hearted a nation?

It’s no easy fix, as the Clintons discovered in the early 1990s. There are huge political barriers to tearing down or reforming a system that funnels some $2 trillion annually to private insurers, pharmaceutical companies and other health care-related businesses.



As Moore points out in his film, many senators and congressmen are recipients of a great deal of health care lobby cash ” including Hillary herself, who’s near the top of the money heap, apparently having joined that which she couldn’t beat.

It seems clear that, in addition to the Iraq fiasco, health care will dominate the agenda in the 2008 presidential campaign. Elevating the debate may be the best we can hope for in the near term; it may be another generation before Americans convince their government that spending more of our taxpayer dollars on life and not the machinery of war is, ultimately, our preference.

” Alex Miller for the Editorial Board


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