Health insurance – genuine or fraud? Is it worth to trust these companies when in need? This review revolves around the medical insurance system of America and how it deals with its clients. I’m sure after reading this you will be shocked to see the condition of the health care department of America: the titan country that intends to become an even bigger superpower in the near future.
Sicko is a documentary that shows a concise analysis of the reality of the health system in the United States. This documentary is directed, produced, and written by the famous filmmaker Michael Moore. And not just that, he is also the narrator of the piece. It was released in the year 2007 and exposed the most crucial department of the country: the health care system. According to rotten tomatoes, rating this documentary by Moore is devastating but convincing. It has 92% positive ratings. According to Variety, Sicko is “an affecting and entertaining dissection of the American health care industry”.
The film starts with a satirical point of view showing two cases where people are tending to their medical needs. One is trying to sew stitches on a gruesome wound and the other has lost his finger while doing his job. These two people were not insured by any health care company and didn’t have enough money to meet their medical needs. But the catch here is that this documentary is not about the people who don’t have access to health insurance, but rather it is about the injustices faced by health insured people in America.
You will be surprised to hear that there are still people in developed countries such as America, who cannot afford simple medical care. Yes, there are poor people living abroad too who cannot pay for one visit to the doctor. The most powerful country in the world; and they have people dying from lack of medical care. Around 50 million people in United States are deprived of health care insurance.
Sicko reveals the ugly truth of health care insurance. There are claims of just provisions but what actually is provided is vastly different. It discloses many cases were people who had health insurance but were still denied the chance to take necessary medical care.
Unfortunately, such serious issues are always dragged into politics. This matter of providing health care to everyone has been a vital target of discussion in US politics over the years. Many presidents have used this point in their political campaigns and have made claims and promises of health care for all. But this pledges and words are never kept or truly fulfilled, making the health care insurance companies wealthier and wealthier. And leaving the people deprived of basic medical needs.
The health care insurance is completely profit oriented. It sells its deals and packages to people who buy insurance in the hopes of being cared for when in need. But the truth of it comes in light when a person actually needs the health care. As shown in the documentary, when a person is need of a surgery or other expensive medical procedure, a board sits to decide whether it really is necessary or not. This is the point where the game changes. The board consists of doctors who are forced to reject any appeal that is more expensive and damaging to the insurance company. This immoral act of denying a rightful medical procedure is completed by the doctors who get a pay raise whenever they reject a medical procedure.
The rejection notice by the insurance companies give lame excuses for it. For instance, we learn about Adrianne, a mother at 22, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Her insurance company denied her appeal for medical care just by saying that she was too young to get cancer. This shows an extreme level of lost humanity. The only choice the girl had was to move to Canada and marry someone there to get the medical benefits provided by that country.
The same fallouts are for non-residents of the States. A foreign person visiting America is required to have medical insurance beforehand. Because if he/she gets injured unluckily, the medical treatment is so expensive that they could end up having medical bills of 600,000$ just for a mere head injury.
The horrors and shortcomings of the American healthcare system shown in Sicko is just a tiny part of the big picture. We can conclude that the Healthcare system of America, or any country for that matter, will do more harm than good as long as it is treated as a business and not really for the “welfare” of people.
Also Read: Your guide to movies with a pandemic theme
Syeda Laiba Tayyab, striving to learn anything new, is a student of Biochemistry at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. Book lover and a big movie enthusiast are some traits that define her.