I finally saw “Sicko” with a friend the other night. About half way through the movie, after we hear the heart breaking tales of a few Americans’ health care disaster stories, Michael Moore asks the question, “Who are we?”..a question that stays in your mind long after the closing credits. But a more appropriate question might be: How do we fix this? Sure, Moore may paint an all too rosy picture of health care abroad and only focuses on the negative here. But the audience is left with a clear message: Our health care system is broken and too many Americans are falling through the cracks.
The movie profiles the stories of a few 9/11 workers and how they have not received adequate medical care after spending time at Ground Zero. One worker in particular has to pay roughly $100 a month for medication to keep her lungs working. Moore takes these workers to Cuba and there she discovers the cost of the same medication in Cuba is 5 cents. You can’t help but feel for her while she cries out of frustration, saying that she has always struggled to pay for her medicine at home. At that moment, this worker realizes she is paying too high a price for the inequalities of our health care system.
So we look to the government for answers. Congress had a great opportunity to lower prescription drug prices this year, but the Senate blocked the vote on Medicare Part D negotiation (a great example of special interests at work). The drug industry did everything they could to protect their massive profits from Part D. And less than two months ago, reimportation was also blocked in the Senate.
So whether you have seen the movie or not, how do we fix this? The public deserves some answers very soon.